Bears Win Pac-12 Title By Defeating ASU
BERKELEY - The No. 1 California softball team won the inaugural Pac-12 Championship by beating No. 2 Arizona State 5-0 on Friday afternoon.
This is the second outright Pac-12 (or Pac-10) title won by Cal softball and the first since 1987. The Bears tied for first in the conference in 2005. Cal receives the automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Coming into the final conference series of the 2012 season against Sun Devils, the Pac-12 title was up for grabs for the first team to win two.
The shutout win was the 24th of the season and the eighth of the Pac-12 slate. Cal has now each of its Pac-12 series. The Bears improve to 50-3 overall and 21-2 in the Pac-12. The Sun Devils stand at 45-7 and 14-7 in the Pac-12.
Danielle Henderson drove in the first two runs and then the fifth with Elia Reid accounted for the third and fourth runs when she singled to left.
Senior player of the year award candidate Valerie Arioto pitched the complete-game victory, shutting out the Sun Devils as she struck out 11 of them.
Hillary Bach started but was yanked after 4.1 innings in which she gave up all five earned runs on five hits and two walks. Mackenzie Popescue pitched 1.2 innings, allowing one hit and two walks.