No. 8 California Faces No. 2 Stanford in Cross-Bay Showdown
March 26, 2002
BERKELEY - WHATS ON TAP: The Golden Bears (33-10) open up Pac-10 play as they host No. 2 Stanford, Friday afternoon at 2 p.m. at Levine-Fricke Field. California looks to avenge last season's, 1-0, loss to the Cardinal in the College World Series, which eliminated the Bears from national title contention.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: Cal collected its third tournament championship of the year when they defeated Northwestern, 9-0, last Sunday in the title game of the Hawaii Chevron Invitational. The Bears lost Saturday to the Wildcats, 1-0, only to setup a rematch in the tournament finale. Earlier in the day, Cal throttled Hofstra, 15-2, in the semifinals. In the tournament opener, Nittaidai No. 2 gave the Bears a scare as it jumped out to a 2-0 lead, but Cal came back to win 4-2. In the nightcap Thursday, Hawaii was shutdown by pitcher Jocelyn Forest and the Bears, 4-0.
FOREST KEEPS ROLLING: Senior pitcher Jocelyn Forest went 2-1 last weekend. Not a perfect record, but the second team All-American was near flawless minus the one earned run in the, 1-0, lost to Northwestern in the teams' first of two meetings at the Chevron Invitational. She struck out a combined 32 batters in 20 innings of work, allowing just six hits in her three appearances. With the exception of the loss, Forest's two wins were shutouts. She now has 211 k's on the season with an ERA of 0.83.
SCOTT GOES PERFECT: Junior catcher Courtney Scott was one of the main catalysts for Cal's 15-2 romp of Hofstra. The Clovis native went a career-best 5-for-5 at the plate, notching five RBI. In addition, one of her hits was a solo homerun, her second of the season. Scott also went 2-for-4 with an RBI in the championship game vs. Northwestern. For the tournament, she batted a whopping .556 (10-for-18) and collected seven RBI en route to all-tournament honors. She now leads the team in batting with a .373 average, third in hits with 44 and second in RBI with 29.
OFFENSE KEY TO SUCCESS: Throughout the 2002 season, Cal has gone through some droughts on offense. The Bears are 5-9 in one run games and through the 14 games, a punchless offense has been the culprit. Cal is 25-0 when it scores four or more runs and 29-1 when they score three or more runs.
BAT COMES ALIVE IN LAST DAY OF TOURNAMENT: After scoring eight runs in the first three games of the Chevron Invite, Cal sucked it up and gave Hofstra and Northwestern a run for their money in the semifinals and finals, respectively, scoring a combined 24 runs on the day. The 15 runs scored against the Pride were the most since 1998 when the Bears beat Toledo, 17-1. The last time Cal scored 24 or more runs in a double header was in 1993 when it defeated Stanford, 26-0 and 22-2. The Bears also beat the Cardinal 16-0 and 16-0 that year in a previous double header.
THE 300 CLUB: Three out of the five are upperclassmen who are experienced in the art of playing grueling weekend tournaments. The other two are freshmen, who may not realize the extent of their accomplishments thus far this season. Junior Courtney Scott (.373), freshman Kaleo Eldredge (.342), junor Veronica Nelson (.329), senior Candace Harper (.327) and freshman Jessica Pamanian (.309) have maintained a steady average above the .300 plateau after 43 games.
SCOUTING STANFORD: The second-ranked Cardinal (27-3) suffered just their third defeat last weekend in a home double header against BYU. Stanford took the first game from the Cougars, 6-3, but dropped the second, falling 5-4 to BYU. At the plate, the Cardinal is led by seniors Sarah Beeson and Jessica Mendoza. Beeson, a first baseman, leads the team in batting (.446), hits (41) and RBI (27). Mendoza, a centerfielder, supplies the power in the Stanford lineup with a team-high eight homeruns. She also leads the team in runs (34), triples (3) and total bases (78). Junior Tori Nyberg has been the pitcher of choice for sixth year head coach John Rittman after two-time All-American Dana Sorenson was sidelined early in the year with a season-ending knee injury. Nyberg has picked up the slack with a 0.84 ERA and a 17-1 record. Opposing batters are averaging .195 at the plate. Junior Maureen LeCocq (9-2) may also see some action this weekend. Cal leads the all-time series, 40-11.