Sixth-ranked Bears Sweep Through First Day at NIST

March 8, 2002

PLEASANTON, Calif. - No. 6 California (22-6) opened the National Invitational Softball Tournament with a convincing, 12-1, win over Miami (2-9) Friday morning at the Pleasanton Sports Park. The Golden Bears defeated Santa Clara and Virginia (15-4) in the second and third games of the day, 6-3 and 7-1, respectively.

In the first game, Cal poured on a season-high 12 runs in the contest. The Bears brought in five runs in the second inning as three hits, three walks and two errors combined to give Cal a 5-0 lead to early on.

In the fourth inning, Candace Harper led off with a single up the middle. Roni Rodrigues walked and Jessica Vernaglia reached on a fielder's choice to load the bases. Spencer singled up the middle to bring in two runs.

Cal scored another five runs in the fifth inning on a trio of base hits and four base on balls, which ultimately chased Miami pitcher Amanda Arnold out of the game. Five different Bears collected RBI's, including Spencer, who had in three on a 2-for-3 performance at the plate.

Junior pitcher Jen Deering (6-1) struck out five batters and scattered three hits in five innings pitched, as the game ended early due to the mercy rule.

At noon, the Bears had a rematch with Bay Area foe Santa Clara. Cal jumped out to a five-nothing lead, before SCU responded in the bottom of the sixth inning.

With two outs and two on, Scott doubled to right field, bringing in Harper and Nelson for the 2-0 lead. In the third, Spencer hit a sacrifice fly to center as Roni Rodrigues tagged home for another run. The Bears scored additional runs in the fourth and sixth innings.

The bottom of the lineup came to life as freshmen Kristen Bayless and Jessica Pamanian went 2-for-4 and 4-for-4, respectively.

In the nightcap versus Virginia, Cal faced the Cavaliers' ace, Kristen Dennis, who struck out 11 Bears. But the story of the evening was the Bears' senior pitcher Jocelyn Forest (8-4) and Cal's offense, which exploded for seven runs, including a four-run outburst in top of the seventh.

Forest recorded a season-high 16 strikeouts, just two shy of her career record. She had a no-hitter through 5.2 innings of work and started off the game whiffing seven Cavaliers. Eldredge went 3-for-5 with an RBI, while Pamanian collected another two hits on the day and a game-high four RBI's. The Milpitas native went 7-for-11 (.636) with six RBI's in the first day of the NIST.

Cal earns the No. 1 seed from pool A, with a 3-0 record. The Bears face Iowa, the No. 2 seed from pool C, in the first round of bracket play, tomorrow at 10 a.m. at Pleasanton Sports Park.

Softball Results at Pleasanton Sports Park
Pleasanton, CA

Game 1 vs. Miami (OH)

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECalifornia 0 5 0 2 5 X X 12 9 1Miami (OH) 0 0 1 0 0 X X 1 3 3

Win: Deering, Cal (6-1)Loss: Arnold, Miami (0-3)Home Runs: None

Game 2 vs. Santa Clara

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECalifornia 2 0 1 1 0 1 1 6 11Santa Clara 0 0 0 0 0 2 1 3 4 3

Win: Anderson, Cal (3-1)Loss: Johnson, SCU (2-3)Home Runs: None

Game 3 vs. Virginia

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 R H ECalifornia 0 0 0 0 2 1 4 7 10Virginia 0 0 0 0 0 0 1 1 3 1

Win: Forest, Cal (8-4), C: ScottLoss: Dennis, UVA (6-2), C: CalhounHome Runs: None

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