No. 5 Cal Softball Hosts Doubleheader vs. St Mary's, Travels to Fullerton Worth Invitational
Feb. 26, 2001
This Week in Cal Softball
The No. 5 Cal softball team (11-0) returns to action on Wed., when it hosts St. Mary's (9-5) in a doubleheader at Levin-Fricke Field. Game time is scheduled for 1 p.m. Following the midweek doubleheader, the Bears hit the road yet again, this time to the Cal State Fullerton Worth Invitational, in Fullerton, CA, Friday through Sunday. Cal, which went 4-0 at the NFCA Leadoff Classic last weekend, opens Friday with Minnesota (10-3-1). The Bear then faces Long Beach State (5-10). Saturday, Cal takes on New Mexico (7-9), followed by host No. 11 Cal State Fullerton (14-5). Sunday, Cal takes on Harvard (0-0) and Portland St. (2-4). Although CS Fullerton is the only ranked team the Bears face this weekend, Minnesota, New Mexico and Long Beach State all received votes in last weeks USA Today/NFCA poll.
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 554-299, winning her 11 seven games this season. The 1991 Pac-10 Coach of the Year, Ninemire has led the Bears to 13 NCAA Tournament berths and four College World Series appearances (1992, '96, '99, 2000). She is assisted by John Reeves, who is in his eighth season, and Kim Maher, who is in her second.
Cal Keeps Rolling in 2001
After defeating UC Riverside in both games of a doubleheader Feb. 10, the Bears went undefeated at the UNLV Classic, winning all five of their games and sharing the classic title with UCLA. Cal then went to Columbus, GA to compete in the prestigious NFCA Leadoff Classic and went undefeated again, posting four more wins. In game one of pool play at the Leadoff Classic against then No. 13 DePaul, the Bears won 1-0 when sophomore Eryn Manahan scored from third on wild pitch. Manahan had the only two hits for Cal against DePaul. In game two, the Bears defeated then No. 15 Nebraska, 2-1, for the second time this season. Sophomore Veronica Nelson led Cal with two hits, two RBI and a run scored. In the final game of pool play, Nicole DiSalvio silenced the Long Island bats, allowing a run on two hits in the Bears 7-1 win. With three wins in pool play, Cal won its pool and advanced to the gold bracket of single elimination play. Junior Jocelyn Forest shut out then No. 6 LSU in the first round of gold bracket play for her second win of the tournament, allowing one hit while striking out 15 batters. Rain and lightning would not stay away long enough, as Sunday's semi-final game against then No. 4 Alabama was cancelled. The game had 4.5 innings already in the books with two out and a 2-and-2 count on the Alabama batter with Cal ahead 6-1, but fell one strike short of being deemed an official game. Nelson, Forest and DiSalvio were selected to the All-Leadoff Classic team.
Pitching is Holding Up Its End of the Bargain
After 11 games, the Cal pitching staff has a combined ERA of 1.18 after allowing just two runs in last weekend's tournament. Forest is leading the staff with a 6-0 record, 0.68 ERA and 64 strikeouts. DiSalvio follows with an unblemished 4-0 record and a 1.00 ERA. Rounding out the impressive staff is sophomore transfer from Oklahoma Kourtney Davis, who is 1-0 with a 4.00 ERA. The threesome has combined to allow just 10 earned runs, compared to 39 earned runs allowed by opposing teams.
During the first seven weeks of the 2001 season, Cal is scheduled to compete in six tournaments. With the UNLV Classic in Las Vegas, NV and the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, GA behind them, the Bears head to Fullerton, CA this weekend for the Worth Invitational Tournament. The Bears then travel to the National Invitational Softball Tournament in Sunnyvale, CA, Mar. 9-11, the Capital Classic in Sacramento, March 15-18, and finally back to Georgia for the Georgia Tech Buzz Classic in Atlanta, GA, March 23-25.
Golden Bear Notes ...
Cal won its first 19 game last season, and have already won its first 11 this year ... Cal is 5-0 against ranked teams in 2001 (having already beaten No. 25 Utah, Nebraska twice, when it was No. 13 and again when it was No. 15, No. 13 DePaul and No. 6 LSU), and are scheduled to play last week's No. 11 CS Fullerton ... Cal has seven players who have started all 11 games (Nelson, senior Paige Bowie, Manahan, senior Pauline Dueï¿½as, sophomore Kristen Morley, junior Candace Harper and sophomore Courtney Scott) ... Nelson is carrying a .520 batting average, 1.080 slugging percentage and a .677 on-base percentage with 12 RBI and 13 hits ... Both Nelson and Bowie share the team lead with 13 hits, while Bowie also has a team-leading 10 runs and three doubles ... Sophomore Mikella Pedretti's three home runs already this season surpasses her total for all of last season (2)... Cal is 11-for-14 in stolen base attempts ... The Bears offense is outscoring their opponents, 54-12.