No. 7 Softball Set to Roll the Dice at UNLV Classic

Feb. 13, 2001

This Week in Cal Softball
The 7th-ranked Cal softball team hits the road this weekend when the Bears play at the UNLV Classic in Las Vegas Friday through Sunday. Cal (2-0), which went 5-0 at the UNLV Classic last season, opens with Utah. The Bears are 14-7 all-time against the Utes, having last beaten them, 2-1 in nine innings, at the Capital Classic in Sacramento on March 18, 2000. Cal then faces Kansas (4-1 all-time), Nebraska (6-11 all-time), UNLV (5-5 all-time) and Fordham (first meeting).

Head Coach Diane Ninemire
Diane Ninemire, the winningest softball coach in Golden Bear history, is in her 14th year as head coach at Cal with a school and career record of 545-299. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, she has led Cal to 13 NCAA Tournament berths and four College World Series appearances (1992, '96, '99, 2000). Ninemire is assisted by John Reeves, who is in his eighth season, and Kim Maher, who is in her second.

Cal Opens with 2-0 Record Despite Rain
Cal began the 2001 season by being rained out on Friday as the Bears were scheduled to host UC Santa Barbara in a single game. That game will not be made up this season. Saturday, the Bears hosted UC Riverside in a doubleheader and took both games, 1-0 and 9-1. Junior Jocelyn Forest tossed her second career no-hitter in the 1-0 win over the Highlanders. Forest recorded 10 strikeouts while missing a perfect game by two walks. Junior Candace Harper drove in senior Paige Bowie for the lone Cal run with a first inning single to left. In the second game, the Bears had a little easier time of it, scoring one run in the first, five in the second and three more in the fourth. Sophomores Veronica Nelson and Mikella Pedretti both hit home runs for Cal. Sophomore transfer Kourtney Davis went the distance, allowing a run on four hits in five innings of play. Sunday, the Bears were scheduled to play a doubleheader against Pacific in Stockton, but it was cancelled due to wet conditions. No make-up date has been announced.

Bowie Making Noise Early and Often
After ending the 2000 campaign with a .167 avg., Paige Bowie, the senior from Clovis, CA, made strides during the offseason to improve upon her .269 career avg. Against UC Riverside, Bowie went a combined 4-for-4 with three runs scored and four RBI. Bowie who had patrolled the outfield during her first three years, is also making the transition to shortstop for the 2001 season. Bowie already has three putouts and six assists from the shortstop position.

Tourney Time
During the first seven weeks of the 2001 season, Cal is scheduled to compete in six tournaments. Leading off the tournament-bound Bears, is the UNLV Classic followed by the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, GA, from Feb. 23-25. Cal then returns to California for the Easton Showcase Tournament in Fullerton, CA, March 2-4, the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, CA March 9-11, the Capital Classic in Sacramento March 15-18 and finally back to Georgia for the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic in Atlanta March 23-25.

Golden Bear Notes
Cal opened the 2001 season with a win for the fifth consecutive year dating back to the 1997 season, the Bears lost the season opener, 7-0 to UCLA in 1996, but won the second half of the doubleheader, 5-2 ... Cal has eight of the nine starters from the 2000 team in the starting line-up for 2001, missing only Lisa Iancin who was lost to graduation ... Nelson drew a walk in her first at bat of the season, hoping to steer clear of the 87 walks she drew last season, a new NCAA season walks record ... Pedretti hit two home runs in 2000 and has one already this season.

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