No. 16/13 California Blanked by No. 3 Arizona, 8-0, in Five Innings

April 30, 2010

BERKELEY - Thanks to a two-homer performance from No. 3 Arizona's Brigette Del Ponte, the No. 16/13 California softball team fell to the Wildcats, 8-0, in five innings on Friday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field. Del Ponte hit a grand slam in the third and tallied a three-run shot in the fifth to push Arizona (39-7 overall/9-4 in the Pac-10) past the Golden Bears (35-14/5-8 Pac-10) in the weekend opener.

Cal garnered only three hits - two from left fielder Jamia Reid, who was back in the line-up after missing Wednesday's game, and one from freshman catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt. Freshman hurler Jolene Henderson took the loss, allowing the eight earned runs off 10 hits while Kenzie Fowler notched her 28th win of the season, issuing eight strikeouts.

Left fielder Brittany Lastrapes had a leadoff single and stole second to start the game. A single by shortstop K'Lee Arredondo put her at first. Catcher Stacie Chambers singled to short, moving Lastrapes to third and Arredondo to second. A wild pitch allowed the runners to advance and Lastrapes to come home, giving the Wildcats an early 1-0 lead.

Arizona was threatening when third baseman Bridgette Del Pointe hit a line drive towards Shannon Houston and second. Houston leapt to make a spectacular diving catch, and immediately threw home to freshman catcher Lindsey Ziegenhirt, who applied the tag to Arredondo, ending the inning without anymore damage.

Cal registered its first hit of the game in the leadoff hitter - left fielder Jamia Reid, who slapped to short. Reid was caught stealing during Shannon Thomas' at bat for only the eighth time this season. Thomas popped up to Arredondo at short and Valerie Arioto struck out looking to close the first.

In the top of the second, Lini Koria singled but was left stranded after two ground outs and a swinging strikeout shut the 'Cats down. It was three up, three down in the bottom of the second for the Bears with a swinging strikeout, a fly out and a ground out.

A first-pitch single by Lastrapes began the top of the third and she moved to second when centerfielder Lauren Schutzler singled to Henderson in the circle. Henderson got Arredondo on an off-speed pitch to strike her out looking before giving up a walk to catcher Stacie Chambers, loading the bases with one out.

With a full count, Del Pointe took the payoff pitch for a grand slam, bringing the total to 5-0 with one out in the top of the third. Henderson and the Bears got the final two outs to bring the high-scoring inning to a close.

In the bottom of the third, senior shortstop Taylor Kelly struck out swinging and Henderson lined out to short when sophomore right fielder Elia Reid earned a two-out walk and stole second. Then, with a 3-2 count, Jamia Reid slapped the ball to first baseman Baillie Kirker, moving Elia to third. Jamia Reid stole her way to second to put two runners into scoring position and open first base. However, Fowler got Thomas swinging to end the inning with two Bears stranded.

In the top of the fourth, right fielder Karissa Buchanan singled to Jace Williams at third and got aboard thanks to her fast feet. Buchanan attempted the two-out steal, but the quick work of Ziegenhirt to Thomas beat her to second base and closed out the inning in the middle of Lastrapes at bat.

Ziegenhirt got on base when she golfed the ball into left centerfield for a single. Williams walked, moving Ziegenhirt to second with one out. Sophomore center fielder Frani Echavarria singled to Del Pointe at third, who tried to get the advancing Ziegenhirt, but she was too fast, and the bases were juiced with Bears. Fowler issued swinging strikeouts to Kelly and Henderson to get out of the fourth unscathed with Cal leaving three runners on base.

In the top of the fifth, Schutzler walked and moved to second when Arredondo laid down a perfect bunt in front of the plate to put Schutzler at second and Arredondo at first. Chambers grounded into a fielder's choice when her hit went to Thomas at second, who flipped it to Kelly at second to get the advancing Arredondo.

It was then that Del Pointe notched her second homer of the game with a shot into left center field, plating Schutzler and Arredondo to give the Wildcats a 8-0 lead heading into the bottom of the fifth.

Elia Reid led off and popped up to second and Jamia Reid struck out swinging on three pitches from Fowler to give Arizona two outs. Fowler closed her win with a looking strikeout to Thomas.

The two teams continue conference play with a 1 p.m. game on Saturday at Levine-Fricke Field.

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