No. 10 Cal Travels to No. 2 UCLA, No. 3 Washington
April 22, 2003
WHAT'S ON TAP: After sweeping Bay Area rival Stanford, the No. 10 California softball team (38-12, 7-5) sits in third place in the Pac-10 as it travels to No. 2 UCLA Friday, April 25 at 2 p.m. and then north to No. 3 Washington for games Saturday, April 26 at 2 p.m. and Sunday, April 27 at 1 p.m.
DIANE NINEMIRE SETS CAL COACHING RECORD: Friday night's 2-1 victory at Stanford set a new all-time Cal coaching record. The victory was head coach Diane Ninemire's 689th career win, earning her the most wins by any head coach in any sport in Cal athletic history. In her 16th season at the helm, Ninemire currently owns a 691-348 record (.665), surpassing former baseball skipper Bob Milano's 688 record wins.
SCOUTING UCLA: No. 2 UCLA posts a 36-5 (8-3 Pac-10) overall record, coming off two wins over No. 3 Washington (5-2, 10-0). Four weeks ago, the Bruins slid past the Bears, 3-0 and 4-1 (8 innings), in Berkeley. Natasha Watley continues to lead UCLA with a .507 BA and 29 stolen bases in 34 attempts. Including Watley, the team has six batters batting above .300. On the mound, Keira Goerl posts a 0.67 ERA, notching a 26-5 record in 32 appearances. UCLA leads the all-time series, 60-13. The last time the Bears beat the Bruins was in 1998, sweeping them at home, 8-1, 6-0.
SCOUTING WASHINGTON: No. 3 Washington (37-7-1) hosts Western Washington Tuesday in a doubleheader before this weekend's conference matchup. The Huskies are led offensively by the bat of Kristen Rivera's .380 BA and have tallied a team total 56 home runs. From the circle, Tia Bollinger posts a 20-4 record in 33 appearances for a 1.18 ERA and Ashley Boek sits at a 16-2 mark in 24 appearances for a 1.06 ERA. The Bears defeated UW 2-0 in their Pac-10 opener on March 28 and have won the last two games in a row versus the Huskies. Washington leads the all-time series, 21-20.
CAL IN THE PAC-10: The Bears boast the second-best ERA in the conference (0.68) and fourth-best BA (.282) and fielding percentage (.971) ... in Pac-10 games, the Bears rank second in ERA (1.19), third BA (.235) and fifth fielding percentage (.962) ... individually within conference action, Kaleo Eldredge is No. 6 with a .382 BA followed by Veronica Nelson's .368 conference BA ... Kelly Anderson has held opponents to a mere .149 BA, the lowest in the conference, while posting the second-lowest ERA (0.79).
ELDREDGE ON A ROLL: In the past 12 games, center fielder Kaleo Eldredge has increased her BA by 52 points, from .244 to .296. Eldredge has hit safely in nine of these games, dating back to April 4, collecting 14 hits and nine RBI.
VERONICA NELSON SETS NEW CAL CAREER RBI RECORD: Senior Veronica Nelson's three-run dinger against Long Island University March 20 catapulted her to the top of the Cal career RBI list. Her career RBIs stand at 161, surpassing former record holder Melanie McCart's (1994-97) 153. The Oakland, CA native also holds the Cal career records for home runs (51), walks (369) and slugging percentage (.653).
BEAR BATTING BITS: As a team, the Bears have lashed out a .280 BA with runners in scoring position to their opponents' .159 BA ... Eldredge features a .706 BA (12-for-17) with runners on third and less than two outs and .357 BA (15-for-42) with two outs, including collecting 10 of her 27 RBIs in that situation, and a .410 BA (16-for-39) with runners in scoring position...Kristen Morley has successfully reached base 17 times in 26 chances (.654) as a leadoff batter.
FROM THE CIRCLE: Per game, Cal's pitching staff is averaging 3.82 hits, 1.46 runs (0.98 earned runs), 2.06 walks, 6.90 strikeouts ... the four-deep staff has held opponents to a .157 BA, fanning 331 batters in 335.2 innings.
THREE DOT DATA: Cal is 7-7 in one-run ballgames, 3-2 in two-run games, 18-1 when it scores five runs or more and 1-2 in extra inning games... combining terrific defense and gutsy pitching, the Bears have recorded 20 shutouts while being blanked only five times themselves... Cal has scored its most runs in the fifth inning (54) and its least in the sixth (19).
ROAD RUNNERS: After 50 games, the Bears have stolen 35 bases in 46 attempts, led by the fleet-footed Vicky Galindo's 16-for-20 performance. Cal already has produced more stolen bases than in its 2002 National Championship season when it recorded 23. The last time a player had collected 16 stolen bases in a single season was in 1993 when Keri Kropke stole 16 of 21 attempts. The all-time Cal record for most stolen bases in a season by a team is 104 (1979) and individually is 28 (Kropke in 1992).
THE BARRY BONDS OF SOFTBALL: 50 games into the season, senior Veronica Nelson has 81 walks, 34 of which were intentional. She has been walked in all but 11 games this season, reaching base in 49 of 50 games for an .682 OB%. Nelson, who set the NCAA single season walk record in 2002 with 108 and holds the NCAA career walk record entering into this season (288), is averaging 1.62 walks per game and is on track to surpass her own record-holding mark with 9 scheduled games remaining in addition to post season play. Despite the constant four straight balls, Nelson continues to lead the Bears with a .376 BA, nine home runs and a .694 slugging percentage.
COURTNEY SCOTT SELECTED TO OLYMPIC TRAINING CAMP: Senior Courtney Scott was named as one of 45 players invited to participate in a selection team camp, June 4-8, at the ARCO Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, CA. These players will compete for spots on two teams that will represent the USA in international competition this summer. This is the second consecutive invite the All-American catcher has received.
TOP 25 PLAYERS TO WATCH LIST: Nelson was named as one of 25 finalists for the 2003 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Award. The award, which is considered the Heisman Trophy in women's collegiate softball, is the only national player of the year award in college softball. The list is comprised of nine Pac-10 players and represents a total of 19 colleges and nine different conferences. The list will be reduced to 10 players on April 29th, with three finalists being named on May 13th. The winner will be announced at the World Series in Oklahoma City, OK. Catcher Courtney Scott was selected to the initial list of 40 announced in February.
LISTEN TO THE GAMES LIVE ON THE INTERNET: There will be a live internet radio broadcast of all three of Cal's weekend games. Friday's game at UCLA can be heard at: http://uclabruins.ocsn.com/sports/w-softbl/sched/ucla-w-softbl-sched.html and Saturday and Sunday's games at Washington can be heard on KKNW AM-1150 or over the internet at www.gohuskies.com or www.newschannel1150.com.