No. 5 Softball Hosts No. 1 Arizona and No. 11 Arizona State In Final Home Series Of Year
May 2, 2001
On The Horizon
This week, Cal comes home for its final home series of the year. The Bears host the top-ranked Arizona Wildcats (51-4, 13-2 Pac-10) on Friday, at 2 p.m., and then the 11th-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils (31-17, 6-9 Pac-10) come to Levine-Fricke Field for a two-game series, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. Following this weekend's homestand, the Bears hit the road one last time before the end of the season. Cal heads to Oregon on Friday, May 11, at 2 p.m., and then it wraps-up the season with a doubleheader versus Oregon State on Saturday, May 12, starting at noon.
No. 1 Arizona leads the NCAA in all three major catagories - batting average (.349), ERA (0.62) and fielding percentage (.980). Last weekend, the Wildcats swept the Oregon schools, defeating Oregon State in a doubleheader on Friday (1-0 and 7-1) and Oregon on Saturday and Sunday, 8-1 and 6-1, respectively. In addition to last weekend's sweep, U of A is riding a 12-game winning streak. Lauren Bauer and Toni Mascaranas lead the Cat's offensive attack, with Bauer hitting .447 and Mascaranas batting at a .403 clip. Jennie Finch and Beck Lemke are tops on the U of A staff. Finch is a perfect 23-0 with a 0.24 ERA, while Lemke is 16-2 with a 0.91 ERA. In the their last meeting, the Cats defeated the Bears in a two-game series, with the same 2-1 scores, on April 21-22.
The Sun Devil Source
No. 11 Arizona State comes to Berkeley after posting a 1-2 record last weekend, defeating Oregon 6-0 on Friday, and then falling to Oregon State on Saturday and Sunday, 2-0 and 4-3, respectively. Phalen Wright leads the Sun Devils' offense with a .403 AVG. Erica Beach enters the weekend with a 14-8 record and 1.31 ERA, as well as batting .341 with seven home runs. Cal defeated ASU, 2-0, on March 10, at the NIST in San Jose, and then as part of the Pac-10 schedule, 4-2 in eight innings, on April 20 in Tempe, AZ.
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 591-309 (.657%). 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.
A Look at What Transpired
The Bears began last week with a doubleheader sweep over Santa Clara on Wednesday, April 25, 8-1 in the opener and 2-0 in the nightcap. On the day, sophomore Veronica Nelson homered once in each game, giving her 18 on the year, and drove in four runs along the way. Both junior Candace Harper and sophomore Eryn Manahan added four hits on the day. Junior Jocelyn Forest and sophomore Jen Deering combined to pitch in game one, with Forest picking up the win and improving to 25-5. Senior Nicole DiSalvio pitched a complete-game shutout in game two for the win, allowing a leadoff hit in the first, and proceeding to be perfect the rest of the game. Friday, Cal was shutout for only the third time all year, a 2-0 defeat at No. 2 UCLA. DiSalvio pitched well, but took the loss, allowing two runs on five hits. Harper, Nelson and Manahan had the only hits on the day. Saturday, the Bears headed north to No. 13 Washington, dropping game one of the two-game series, 5-1. Deering relieved DiSalvio in the circle and pitched the final 3.2 innings of shutout two-hit ball. Sunday, both teams had to compete against the weather. The game finally got under way after a 2.5 hour rain delay. After Washington got on the board with two runs in the first, Cal loaded the bases and plated one run in the third before Nelson came to the plate and the rain returned. The game was halted there and not rusumed until Monday afternoon. Nelson began the day with a single to left to drive in two runs and then sophomore Courtney Scott hit a three-run homer to left, her first homer of the year, giving the Bears a 6-2 lead. UW managed to score only once more in the seventh for a 6-3 final. Derring went the distance, allowing three runs (two earned) on nine hits with seven strikeouts to earn her first Pac-10 win on the year and improve to 4-0 overall.
Bears Receive National Exposure
The Bears are finally getting the recognition that they deserve.Both Forest and Nelson have been selected by the Amateur Softball Association as two of fifty-seven of the nation's finest women's fast pitch softball players to participate in the USA Softball Women's National Team Camp, May 30-June 3 at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif. USA Softball will select two 16-player teams to represent the U.S. in international competitions such as the U.S. Cup in Honolulu, the Canada Cup in Vancouver and the PanAm Qualifier in Maracay, Venenzuela during the 2001 season.
Bears Slip But Continue in the Top 10
After finishing the 2000 season with a seventh-place finish at the College Wold Series and ranked seventh in the final USA Today/NFCA Poll, the Bears began the 2001 season ranked seventh in the preseason poll. With 32 consecutive wins to begin the 2001 schedule, Cal jumped to No 5 in the Feb. 21 poll, and a week later found itself ranked fourth in the Feb. 28 poll and again on March 7. The Bears then rose to No. 3 in the March 14 poll, and stayed there for three consecutive weeks. With a Pac-10 season opening sweep to Washington (once) and UCLA (twice), the Bears dropped to fifth in the April 4 poll. After sitting at No. 4 for three consecutive weeks, the Bears return to No. 5 this week after a 1-2 record in the Pac-10 over the weekend. Cal sits behind No. 1 Arizona, No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Stanford and new No.4 LSU.
Nelson Looks To Put Records Out of Reach
Nelson is showing no signs of letting up as the most prolific power hitter in school history. With her two more jacks in the doubleheader swwep over Santa Clara on April 25, Nelson has extended both Cal's single season home run record (18), as well as the career home run record (32), and ranks sixth in the NCAA with .31 roundtrippers per game. Furthermore, with another 71 freebies already in 2001, Nelson holds the Cal career walk record with 158, and ranks sixth in the NCAA career all-time walk record book, just 53 freebies away from the No. 1 spot held by Terra Beyster of Oregon State with 211 (1997-2000).
This Sunday the Cal softball family says goodbye to seniors Paige Bowie, Pauline Dueï¿½as, Nicole DiSalvio and Amber Phillips, as Sunday is the final game at Levine-Fricke Field in 2001. Festivities honoring these four seniors are set to get under way about 12:50 p.m.
Not a Bad Way To Start
The 1999 Cal squad set a school record by posting 51 wins on the year. In 2001, the Bears, with a 48-10 mark, are just three wins shy of tying that record,. Although it won 51 games in 1999, Cal began that season, just 34-16 after 50 games, but ended the season on a tear, going 17-6 in the last 23 games to finish 51-22. This season's team won its first 32 games of the year.
Golden Bear Notes ...Forest sat out last weekend with a sore back, but still ranks fourth in the NCAA with a 10.9 strikeout-per-seven-inning average, fifth with a 0.49 ERA and 13th with 25 wins ... DiSalvio ranks 36th in the NCAA with a 1.00 ERA and as a team, Cal ranks eighth in the NCAA with an ERA of 0.86 ... Dueï¿½as sits atop the Pac-10 with 19 sacrifice bunts ... As a team, the Bears rank fourth in the Pac-10 with a .279 batting average and third with a .975 fielding percentage (seventh in the NCAA) ... Cal is outscoring its opponents by a 247-71 margin ... The Bears are hitting .307 with runners on base, .248 with the bases empty and .351 with the bases loaded ... Scott has thrown out a Pac-10 leading 14 would-be basestealers ... Phillips separated her nonthrowing shoulder in late March, only to return to action and reinjur the shoulder on April 21 at Arizona ... Cal hopes to have Phillips back by the postseason ... The Bears finished Monday's game with only 10 players, since five of them had to return to Berkeley for class obligations ... Cal and UW played a two-hand-touch football game during one of the many rain delays last Sunday, with the score ending in a 2-2 tie.