No. 6 California Hosts Last Pac-10 Series of the Season
May 7, 2002
WHATS ON TAP: The Golden Bears (45-19, 9-9 Pac-10) look to bounce back from a 0-3 weekend against the Arizona schools and collect some more wins in preparation for the postseason. Oregon and Oregon State roll into town as California plays host to the Ducks on Friday, while the Beavers come in for a doubleheader Saturday, starting at 1 p.m.
THE WEEK THAT WAS: The Bears suffered their first weekend sweep in conference play, losing to Arizona, 3-0, once and Arizona State twice, 8-4 and 2-1. Last Friday, in front of 2,261 people at Hillenbrand Stadium, the Wildcats avenged previous losses to Cal. UA ace Jennie Finch struck out seven, limiting the Bears to just three hits. On Saturday, Cal could have pulled out a win if it wasn't for a five-run second inning that propelled ASU to a 8-4 win. Junior Jen Deering lasted just 1.2 innings, while Jocelyn Forest gave up back-to-back homeruns in relief. On Sunday, the Sun Devils completed the weekend sweep of Cal, as ASU edged the Bears in extra innings, 2-1. Although the Bears scored the initial run in the second inning, Cal couldn't muster up anymore offense, managing just three hits in the remaining six innings.
Forest leads the Pac-10 in strikeouts with 309.
BEARS BATTLING AT THE TOP OF THE CONFERENCE: Although the sweep temporarily dropped Cal to fifth place in the Pac-10 with three games remaining, the Bears still have a chance to finish near the top of the conference. No. 1 UCLA and No. 2 Arizona have solidified the top two spots in the conference, but the battle for third place is in the tenuous grasps of No. 4 ASU and No. 8 Washington, which are both 10-8 in league. However, the Sun Devils and the Huskies each face the top two team in the Pac-10 this weekend, while Cal faces off against Oregon and Oregon State that have a combined conference record of 8-28.
THREE'S ENOUGH: In a college softball season, a given team can potentially play 70 or more games. Through the ebb and flow of the schedule, streaks are much the norm. Win or lose, consecutive games of success or futility is a reality, and trying to extend the former and curtailing the latter is the key to success. For Cal, the season has generally been a success thus far. The Bears have had various winning streaks, including four streaks of five or more games. On the other hand, Cal has not lost more than three consecutive games on any occasion. In fact, the current losing streak of three games is a season-high. The Bears look to break out of the mini-skid when they face Oregon, Friday.
SCOUTING OREGON: The Ducks (23-28, 1-17 Pac-10) are led by Alyssa Laux (.329, 47 H, 6 2B, 2 HR, 14 RBI) and Andrea Vidlund (.319, 46 H, 6 2B, 8 HR, 37 RBI, .528 SLG). In the circle, Lindsay Kontra (6-12) has a 3.15 ERA and Connie McMurren (8-11) carries a 3.42 ERA. Cal defeated Oregon twice in their last meeting, 3-2 and 7-0. The Bears lead the all-time series, 54-27.
SCOUTING OREGON STATE: No. 17 Oregon State (38-20, 7-11 Pac-10) is led by Brynnen Guthrie (.337, 60 H, 6 2B, 4 HR, 25 RBI), Clare Burnum (.329, 57 H, 17 2B, 3 HR, 10 SB) and Shelly Prochaska (.277, 44 H, 9 2B, 3 HR, 22 RBI). In the circle, Monica Hoffman (13-8) carries a 1.26 ERA, while Crystal Draper (13-6), has a 1.84 and leads the staff with 190 strikeouts on the season. The Beavers defeated Cal in their previous meeting, 3-2, on a three-run homer in the sixth inning by Steph Adams. OSU started out conference play with a 4-0 record, but then lost the next seven of eight games and is now currently sixth in the Pac-10 behind the Bears. Cal leads the all-time series, 51-21.
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