Bears Welcome Weekend With 5-2 Win Against Fordham

Feb. 26, 2010

PALM SPRINGS, Calif. - The No. 14/13 California softball team open its weekend slate at the Cathedral City Classic on an excellent note - defeating Fordham, 5-2, on Friday afternoon.

Full recap to follow.

Though the Bears did not cross home plate in the top of the first, Jamia Reid put on a show for the fans with a lead-off single, stealing second and then stealing third.

Combined with two hits, Cal capitalized on error by Fordham in the top of the second. With two away after Frani Echavarria grounded out to third and Jolene Henderson struck out looking, Taylor Kelly got on base with a single and advanced to second thanks to a fielding error in left field. Elia Reid followed up with an RBI double up the middle to score Kelly, an unearned run for Fordham hurler Jen Mineau.

Things got dicey for the Bears in the Rams' half of the second after Cal starter Marissa Drewrey issued two walks and allowed a hit, loading the bases. Junior Valerie Arioto stepped in an immediately fanned the next two batters with swinging strike outs and the infield went to work, tagging catcher Meghan Callahan out at second while third baseman Jocelyn Dearborn reached on a fielder's choice, ending the inning.

The first two of the three Cal hits in the top of the third changed the course of the game. Senior infielder Shannon Thomas began the inning for the Bears, fouling off the first pitch before reaching with a bunt single to the pitcher. Arioto stepped up to the plate and after a strike, foul and a ball, the Pleasanton, Calif., native homered to left to distance the Bears, 3-1.

The top of the fourth inning would be the only inning in which the Cal line-up would go down in order. However, the Bears returned the favor with Arioto facing the minimum in the bottom of the fourth with two groundouts and a looking strikeout.

In the top end of the fifth, Thomas singled through the left side and stole second in the midst of Arioto's at-bat, which would end in a walk. Thanks to a wild pitch, both Thomas and Arioto advanced to third and second, respectively, to further threaten on the base paths.

With a Fordham swinging strike out, a line drive to Taylor Kelly at short and a ground out to Arioto, the Bears denied the Ram offensive in the bottom of the fifth. It was a somewhat similar story for Cal in the top of the sixth with three consecutive ground outs by the Bears.

The bottom of the sixth began with a bang with infielder Beckah Wiggins singling to first. Though Arioto struck out the next two batters - left fielder Erin Fisher and utility Jamie LaBovick - the hurler had two wild pitches that moved Wiggins to third. With two outs, Callahan singled to plate Wiggins and bring her Rams within three, 5-2, at the close of six complete.

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