No. 6 Golden Bears Travel to Sacramento Capital Classic
March 11, 2002
WHATS ON TAP: No. 6 California (23-8) heads to the state capital to participate in the 10th-annual Sacramento Capital Classic hosted by Sacramento State. The 15-team, single elimination tournament kicks off Thursday and Friday with pool play. The Golden Bears open up the tournament against San Jose State (10-17), Thursday at 5 p.m. Cal is scheduled to play two games a piece Thursday and Friday. Below is a listing of the teams in the three pools.
Pool A Pool B Pool CCalifornia Long Island Sacramento StateKansas Nebraska IUPUIMiami Saint Mary's Middle TennesseeSan Jose State Utah State UNLVSyracuse Wisconsin Virginia
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Cal made a disappointing early exit from the National Invitational Softball Tournament last weekend in Pleasanton as Long Beach State defeated the Bears, 1-0, Saturday afternoon. No. 17 Iowa handed Cal a 4-1 loss earlier in the day. The Bears opened up the NIST with three wins in pool play as they defeated Miami (12-1), Santa Clara (6-3) and Virginia (7-1). The NIST was rained out on Sunday after a steady down pour Saturday night. Arizona State, who hadn't lost through the first day of bracket-play was crowned NIST champs.
BEARS STRUGGLE TO FIND TIMELY HITS: On Friday, the Bears had no problem with their offense, combining for 25 runs in three games as everyone in the lineup, including the bottom of the order, contributed to the cause. Saturday was a different story as Cal scored just seven runs in three games. In the second day, the Bears went 6-for 30 (.200) with runners in scoring position. Cal had runners on third or second base on four different occasions including a bases loaded situation in the second inning against Long Beach State, but failed to score at every chance.
DEFENSE HOLDING TEAMS AT BAY: Cal's defense is one reason the Bears are staying in games. With a fielding percentage of .981, Cal has ended scoring threats or has quelled any attempts by opponents to get runners in scoring position with its solid defense. Freshman center fielder Kaleo Eldredge has a 1.000 percentage including one assist. In the infield, junior Courtney Scott leads the charge with a .996 clip.
FOREST MOVING UP ON STRIKEOUT LIST: Senior pitcher Jocelyn Forest is just 17 strikeouts shy of overtaking Leslie Partch for second on Cal's all-time career strike out list. Forest's 34-strikeout performance last weekend at the NIST put her in striking distance of passing Partch's record at the Sacramento Capital Classic.
SCOUTING THE SACRAMENTO CAPITAL CLASSIC: The Golden Bears are in pool A along with Kansas, San Jose State, Miami and Syracuse. Cal plays each team in its pool once. After the two-day round robin play, every team will be seeded in the tournament bracket according to its performance in the pool. Ranked teams in the Capital Classic include No. 4 Nebraska and No. 25 Wisconsin in pool B. The Bears have won the Capital Classic Championship on two previous occasions - in 2000 and in 1994. The Bears all-time record at the tournament is 33-12, which is the tournament-high in wins and winning percentage (.733).