No. 17/13 Cal Losses 10-Inning Heartbreaker, 1-0, to No. 1 Washington

April 23, 2010

BERKELEY - The No. 17/13 California softball team went toe-to-toe with the best team in the country No. 1 Washington on Friday afternoon, but lost the final decision, 1-0, in 1-0 innings at Levine-Fricke Field. A fielding error by the Golden Bears (33-12/4-6 in the Pac-10) allowed the Huskies (36-4/8-2 Pac-10) to score the game-winning run in the top of the 10th to take the Pac-10 series opener.

The Huskies got a base runner on the very first pitch when right fielder Kimi Pohlman singled through the left side to get aboard. A perfectly placed sacrifice bunt by shortstop Jenn Salling moved Pohlman to second. With a 2-2 count, pitcher Danielle Lawrie popped up to Arioto at first to give the Bears two outs. Henderson was on her toes, cleanly fielding a hit up the middle by first baseman Niki Williams to leave the Huskies with one runner stranded off one hit in the top of the first.

A swarm of bees invaded the normally serene Strawberry Canyon, resulting in a delay of play prior to the bottom of the first.

After Jamia Reid fouled off four of the first five pitches she saw from Lawrie, the UW hurler got Reid swinging. It was a similar situation, only more pronounced, for the next batter in Shannon Thomas. Thomas battled through 11 pitches, seven of which were fouls, before falling to Lawrie in a swinging strikeout. Lawrie got Arioto on a three-pitch swinging K to end the inning.

Catcher Shawna Wright swung and connected on the first pitch of the second with a pop up to center field. Battling the sun and backing up on her heels from short was Taylor Kelly, but Jamia Reid came running from left with the better angle and made the catch to get the first out.

Hooch Fagaly had what looked to be a strong single through the right side, but senior second baseman Shannon Thomas sprawled across her left side to stop the ball and toss it to Arioto at first, getting the out. With deuces wild - two balls, two strikes and two outs - Henderson got got Jerrin Fa'asua on a gorgeous off-speed pitch to get the swinging strike out and close the half inning.

The Huskies returned the favor, getting freshman catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt on a swinging strikeout. Jace Williams, in at the designated player spot, connected for a single to second base. UW first baseman Fagaly Hooch got glove on it and bobbled the ball slightly, but it was of no difference as Williams was too fast for the Huskies and got aboard.

Sophomore outfielder Frani Echavarria hit into a fielder's choice with Husky third baseman Morgan Stuart throwing to Fa'asua at second to get Williams out at second. With two away, Echavarria at second and senior shortstop Taylor Kelly up to bat, Lawrie registered her fifth strikeout of the game and end the inning.

Amanda Fleischman had a lead-off single into left field and then she stole second. Henderson got Morgan Stuart on a strikeout and Taylor Kelly fielded a line drive by Polhman to get the first two outs. Henderson intentionally walked Salling to put runners at first and second and draw up Lawrie. Henderson got Lawrie to hit a weak pop up, which Arioto fielded at second to end the inning.

A foul fly (Vernae Sevillpa) and a looking strikeout (Elia Reid) gave the Huskies two outs to start the bottom of the third. Jamia Reid had a ground ball directly at second base, which Fa'asua cleanly fielded, but Reid was too fast for the defense and got aboard with a single.

Shannon Thomas attempted a two-out bunt, but Lawrie grabbed it and threw it to first before Thomas reached to end the inning.

Williams had a long single that bounced off the wall in left field for a single. Key infield defense got Williams out at second when Wright connected for what would be a fielder's choice hit at Thomas at second.

A four-pitch walk earned by Fagaly put Huskies on at first and second, which was occupied by Wagner, who pinch ran for 1. Fa'asua reached on a fielder's choice with Vernae Sevilla opting for the out at second, which put runners on the corners with two out. Fleischman popped up just west of home plate. Sevilla was quick on the draw but Ziegenhirt was faster and made the out to close the inning.

A 2-2 fast ball got Arioto on a swinging K to start the bottom of the fourth with the two squads still knotted at 0-0. Lawrie worked for her eighth strikeout of the game over Ziegenhirt. Jace Williams battled through her at bat to get a walk from Lawrie, who issued only her 21st base on balls to Williams. It was of no scoring concern for the Huskies for Lawrie struck out Echavarria to end the fourth, leaving Williams stranded.

In the top of the fifth, Henderson struck out her third batter in Stuart. Henderson then fielded a dribbler from Pohlman close to the first-base line and Arioto staid strong at first to make the out. The next bat to ball connection, which was hit by Salling, went straight to Sevilla at the hot corner, and Sevilla threw cross-diamond to Arioto to close the top of the fifth.

On a 3-2 count to leadoff the bottom of the fifth with a loud crack of the bat, Taylor Kelly had a high fly out to dead center. Off the first pitch of her at bat, Sevilla sent the ball flying to right, where Pohlman fired up her engines towards center to make the noteworthy catch. Lawrie got Elia Reid looking to send the side three-up, three-down.

Lawrie earned a walk to open the sixth, and was promptly replaced at first by Bailey Stenson as a pinch runner. Williams beat the throw from short to first for a hit, giving UW two runners with no outs. With those two baserunners threatening, Vernae Sevilla made a key play at third. She grabbed a line drive from Wright and quickly and expertly threw to second, where Thomas was ready to tag out Stenson, who was on her way back to tag up to give put two outs on the board. With the sun in her eyes, Thomas caught a high pop up at second to end the half inning.

Jamia Reid slapped the ball to second, where Fa'asua was ready to field the ball and toss it to Williams at first for the first out of the bottom of the sixth. Thomas hit the ball right down the first-base line into Williams' waiting glove for the second out of the inning. Arioto had one of her trademark walks, this one was her 56th of the season, but was left stranded when Lawrie struck out Ziegenhirt.

With still no score, Sevilla had a highlight-reel worthy pick-up to begin the seventh when she grabbed a one-hopper from Fa'asua. Henderson fielded the next ball - a ground ball up the middle by Fleischman. Stuart got aboard when her hit down the left-field line escaped Sevilla's glove.

Polhman singled to left, Jamia Reid made the throw to second but Stuart was safe due to interference when she rounded second. An intentional walk to Salling loaded the bases and drew up Lawrie. It was ball-ball-strike-ball-strike-foul when Henderson, Cal's freshman phenom, got the experienced Lawrie out on a swinging strike out to end the inning with three Huskies left stranded.

Jace Williams lead off the bottom of the seventh, and hit a ground ball to second, but she was called back as the pitch from Lawrie was illegal. It was a costly error for the Huskies for Williams, once back in the box, watched a strike sail by and then a ball to earn a walk.

Williams moved to second thanks to a bunt by Echavarria. Taylor Kelly hit a line drive at her UW counterpart at short, Salling. Salling then threw to Fa'asua at second to get Williams out and force a trip into extra innings.

Kelly fielded a one hopper to begin the top of the eighth. A missed chance by Sevilla resulted in an error on her and Wright to reach. Fagaly then had a clean double to center field, advancing Wright to third. McWherter pinch ran for Fagaly, but everyone held when hit the ball to Taylor Kelly. Kelly attempted to get Wright out at third but missed, allowing Fa'asua to reach on a fielder's choice and load the bases.

With two outs and the bases juiced, pinch hitter Taylor Smith hit a grounder to Henderson in the circle and she threw home to Ziegenhirt to get the advancing Wright. Ziegenhirt turned the DP, throwing to Arioto at first to get Smith out and end the half inning with no score.

In the bottom of the eighth, Lawrie struck out the side for the third time in the game.

The Huskies threatened again in the top of the ninth, when Polhman had a one-out double to the gap in left-center field. Henderson intentionally walked Salling for the third in the game to put the force on, and it paid off. Lawrie then lined out to Kelly, who turned two by getting Polhman out at second with Thomas applying the tag.

Lawrie got Thomas looking to begin the bottom of the ninth. Arioto earned a walk, a category in which she leads the country, to put one runner on before Lawrie struck out Ziegenhirt. With Jace Williams up to bat, a wild pitch allowed Arioto to advance to second, but it was of no avail for Williams popped up to third.

Vernae Sevilla made an important stop to begin the 10th when she got glove on a line drive by Williams with Arioto making the stretch to get the out. Wright dropped a hit into shallow center field and Fagaly followed up with a walk.

With a picturesque bunt by Fa'asua advanced Wright to third and Fagaly to second. Fleishman hit the ball to Sevilla, who could not get a handle on it for an error, which allowed Wright to score the pivotal run. Taylor Kelly fielded a grounder and threw to Arioto at first to get the out and end the top of the 10th without any further damage.

Echavarria led off in high style for the Bears, taking the first pitch of the bottom of the 10th for a double down the left-field line that reached the wall before anyone could get to it.

Taylor Kelly moved Echavarria over to third with a sacrifice bunt to draw up Sevilla with one out on the board. Sevilla battled through 10 pitches, but Lawrie won the dual with a swinging strikeout.

The series continues on Saturday with a 1 p.m. first pitch. Following the game, fans can run the bases at Levine-Fricke Field.

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