No. 15/13 Cal Visits Gaels, No. 6/5 UCLA
May 4, 2010
Wednesday, May 5
3 p.m. - No. 15/13 Cal (36-15/6-9) at Saint Mary's
Cottrell Field - Moraga, Calif.
Series Record vs. the Gaels: 45-0, Cal
Last Meeting: W, 6-2 (3/27/10)
Friday, May 7
7 p.m. - No. 15/13 Cal (36-15/6-9) vs. No. 6/5 UCLA (36-9/10-5)
Easton Stadium - Los Angeles
Series Record vs. the Bruins: 76-21, UCLA
Last Meeting: L, 2-1 (3/7/09)
Saturday, April 17
6 p.m. - No. 15/13 Cal (36-15/6-9) vs. No. 6/5 UCLA (36-9/10-5)
Easton Stadium - Los Angeles
Sunday, April 18
Noon - No. 15/13 Cal (36-15/6-9) vs. No. 6/5 UCLA (36-9/10-5)
Easton Stadium - Los Angeles
BERKELEY - It is road trip week for the No. 15/13 California softball team. First up is a short jaunt down the freeway to Moraga, Calif., for a 3 p.m. tilt against Saint Mary's (25-18 overall) on Wednesday, May 5. Then, the Golden Bears (36-15/6-9 in the Pac-10 Conference) take to the air with a three-game Pac-10 stand at No. 6/5 UCLA (36-9/10-5 Pac-1). The Bears and Bruins will battle on Friday, May 7 at 7 p.m. with the next game on Saturday, May 8 scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. The two schools will close out the weekend on Sunday with a noon first pitch. The Southern California branch of the University of California holds a 76-21 all-time program record against Cal. The Bruins won the last meeting between the two squads, 2-1, on March 7, 2009.
-The Bears went 2-2 last weekend with both of their wins coming in run-rule games.
-Cal's 1.61 ERA leads the Pac-10 and is the seventh best in the nation.
-The Bears steal an average of 2.31 bases per game, placing them seventh in the country.
-Arioto leads the team in homers with 16, which is the 14th-best number in the nation.
-Arioto's .587 on-base percentage is second best in the conference and fourth in the country.
-Arioto averages 1.18 walks per game, placing her second in the country and first in the Pac-10.
Last Time Out on the Diamond
After Arizona won the first two games last weekend, the Bears avoided the conference sweep in high fashion, taking Sunday's game, 8-0 in six innings. In Friday's weekend opener, Brigette Del Ponte had a two-homer performance to give her Wildcats the 8-0 win in five innings. It was a slightly different tune on Saturday, for it was seven innings of scoreless softball before Arizona broke through with a run in the top of the eighth. Not to be outdone, the Bears added one of their own in the bottom end of the eighth with a solo shot from Jace Williams. Arizona plated three in the top of the ninth and Cal just one in the bottom to give the Wildcats the 4-2 Pac-10 Conference game. Sunday's game saw seven errors and 10 hits by the Bears in six innings of play to give Cal the 8-0 win.
Earlier This Year Against the Gaels
Wednesday's game is a make-up after inclement weather cancelled the originally slated April 21 match between Cal and Saint Mary's. The Bears hold the perfect 45-0 all-time series record, which was extended thanks to their 6-2 win over the Gaels on March 27 at the Aggie Stampede. In the first meeting with Saint Mary's this season, which occurred March 27 at the Aggie Stampede, Cal upped its winning streak to six and overall record to 27-6 with a 6-2 win over Saint Mary's. Freshman hurler Jolene Henderson got the win after giving up zero hits and no earned runs, striking out six, while Shannon Thomas was the offensive leader for the Bears with three hits and two RBI. At the time, it was only the fifth time all season that an opponent scored first with Saint Mary's getting on the board in the top of the first. Cal scored two runs in the second and three in the third to cruise past the Gaels.
Last Season's Series Versus UCLA
Cal took two of the three games last year against the Bruins, beginning with a 7-6 win on March 28, which snapped the Bears' three-game losing streak to UCLA. In the second game of the series, Cal did not disappoint a capacity crowd of 600 fans at Levine-Fricke Field on March 29 with a triumphant 9-5 win over then-fourth ranked UCLA. The Bears' victory halted the Bruins' winning streak of 71 straight games when they score first. Current Bears Elia Reid and Vernae Sevilla cranked out homers in that game. UCLA avoided the conference series sweep on May 7 in Los Angeles when the Bruins tallied the 2-1 win with Jamia Reid hitting her seventh homer of the season to keep the Bears from being shut out
Next Week on the Diamond
Cal closes its conference and regular season with three games against unranked Oregon State at Berkeley's serene Levine-Fricke Field. The weekend begins early with a 3 p.m. first pitch on Thursday, May 13. The two squads meet at 3 p.m. on Friday, May 15 before ending the series Sunday with a noon game. In addition to mercying the Beavers, 11-2 in five innings in their last meeting on April 24, 2009, the Bears also hold a 65-34 all-time program record over OSU.
Sophomore outfield Elia Reid has been a key component of Pac-10 play for the Bears, hitting .353 in conference games, placing her second on the team. Playing in all 15 games, Reid has nine runs on 12 hits and three stolen bases. Overall, Reid is hitting .223, appearing in 44 of Cal's 51 games.
In the Circle
Cal has been splitting its pitching between freshman Jolene Henderson and Valerie Arioto, who, Marissa Drewrey, lead the conference with a 1.61 ERA. Arioto boasts a 1.28 ERA overall and is 1.46 in conference play. In 150 innings of work, Henderson has a 1.59 ERA but has suffered slightly in Pac-10 games, where she has a 3.57 ERA. In last week's games, Arioto issued 20 strikeouts, limiting her opponents to a .169 average.
Valerie Arioto: Moving On Up
Thanks to her performances versus the Huskies and with two homers against the Broncos, junior utility Valerie Arioto grew in stature in the Cal record books. After moving into a tie for fourth with Vicky Galindo with 141, Arioto moved up again. With four runs scored against Santa Clara and one versus Arizona, Arioto is now alone in fourth place with 146 career runs. Third place is occupied by Gillian Boxx, who scored 156 times from 1992-95. Arioto's two homers in Wednesday's game moved her from fourth place to a tie with Melanie McCart in third with 28 career roundtrippers. Arioto leads the Bears this season with 50 runs and 16 homers.
Jolene for the Save
With her work against Santa Clara, freshman right hander Jolene Henderson earned her third save. This moved her into a five-way tie for third place in single-season saves. The Elk Grove, Calif., native needs two saves to mount her tally to five to tie for fourth on the career saves list.
Shannon's Stealing Her Way Into the Records
With her 28 steals thus far in 2010, Shannon Thomas is now tied for fourth place on the single-season stolen-base list. Also in fourth place are Erika Racklin and Keri Kropke. Thomas' 33 steals last season are third while Jamia Reid holds down the first and second spots with 27 in 2009 and 43 in 2010, respectively. On the career list, Thomas is also tied for fourth with 61 bags, which is a record also shared by Vicky Galindo.
Ninemire Watch 2010: 1,000 Wins
Thanks to Cal's 6-0 win over Sacramento State on April 7, Cal head coach Diane Ninemire achieved an impressive career milestone with her 1,000th career win. Ninemire is the ninth coach in the history of Division I softball to notch 1,000 wins. Already the winningest coach - male or female - in all of Cal history for any sport, Ninemire and is in her 23rd year as the Bears' head coach. Ninemire has overseen countless players, including 25 All-America selections, 146 All-Pac-10 players, 44 academic All-Americans and 86 All-Region choices. Ninemire won her first game at the helm of the Bears on Feb. 15, 1988, with a 2-0 decision over Pacific in only her second game as a head coach. All of her head coaching experience has been at Cal, where she has registered 22 winning seasons and 22 consecutive trips to the postseason. Ninemire also led Cal to a Women's College World Series title in 2002, which was the first NCAA championship for any women's team in Cal history.
To learn more about Ninemire's tenure at Cal, please consult the Road to 1,000.
Arioto Named to Top-25 Watch List
Valerie Arioto made the cut for the top-25 finalists for the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)'s watch list for the ninth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered the most prestigious honors in Division I women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. The winner will be chosen from the list of 25 finalists and will be announced at the opening of the NCAA 2010 Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City. Of the 25 players on the list, eight of them play in the Pac-10. Arioto was named to the Top-50 Watch List both this and last season.
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Drewrey Striking Out the Record Holders
Thanks to her 20 strikeouts halfway through the 2010 season, senior Marissa Drewrey has moved into the top-five of all-time strikeout leaders at Cal. With 644 career strikeouts to her credit, she displaced Whitney Floyd, who had 628. Coming into this year with 624 Ks, Drewrey earned her 629th strikeout in her first appearance of the season on February 13, 2010 against Michigan State to pass Floyd's 628.
Jamia Reid: All-Time Steals Leader
Only part way through her sophomore season, Jamia Reid became the new California career leader in steals when she stole her 75th base on March 13 at home versus Fullerton, breaking a record that stood for 17 years. Tallying 47 steals in her freshman campaign (2009) and 41 as of April 28, 2010, for her current career total of 88, Reid well surpasses Keri Kropke (1990-93), who had 74.
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Top of the Rankings to Ya!
In the preseason rankings, the Bears fared quite well. Cal was ranked 11th in the country, according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll after finishing in the 12 spot in the final 2009 ranking. During the 2010 regular season, the Bears will face off against nine of the other 24 teams in that poll, including defending national champion Washington. The Bears were ranked No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll.
Remembering Last Season
Last year, Cal qualified for the postseason for the 24th consecutive year, the second-longest streak in the nation and the longest in the Pac-10. The Bears won their NCAA Regional at Florida State before falling at top-seeded Florida in the Super Regionals. Over the course of the year, the Bears broke team records for stolen bases (146) and home runs (55).
Bears on the National Scene
Vicky Galindo, a three-year letterwinner for the California softball team, accepted a spot on the U.S. national team and current junior standout Valerie Arioto was named an alternate, the ASA announced recently. Arioto and Galindo attended the 2010 softball women's national team selection camp, which was held in Chula Vista, Calif., from Jan. 4-8. Galindo was one of 17 athletes who was offered a USA Softball Athlete Agreement for the 2010 season. The squad will be competing in the ISF Women's World Championships, held June 23-July 2 in Caracas, Venezuela, as well as other events to be scheduled at a later date.
Hall of Fame Status
California head coach Diane Ninemire was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's 2009 Hall of Fame class in December. Ninemire, who joined Frank Cheek of Humboldt State University and Bill Edwards of Hofstra University, was inducted in front of the NFCA, former Golden Bears, her colleagues and family members at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. During Ninemire's tenure at Cal, 35 All-America, 86 all-region and 146 all-conference certificates have been issued to the Bears. Since her first year in the dugout in 1988, Ninemire has continually taken the Bears to new heights as one of the winningest and most successful softball programs in the nation. From 1999-2005, Cal made seven straight trips to the College World Series, and Ninemire has one national championship, nine Women's College World Series trips, and 21 straight NCAA Regional appearances to her credit.