No. 4 Cal Hosts ASU, No. 1 Arizona
April 13, 2004
WHAT'S ON TAP: No. 4 California looks to build on its doubleheader sweep at No. 11 Stanford last Saturday with four games this week. The Bears (35-6, 3-3 in the Pac-10) will travel down the highway Tuesday for a non-conference match-up with Santa Clara before hosting Pac-10 foes Arizona State Friday at 2 p.m. and No. 1 Arizona Saturday (2 p.m.) and Sunday (1 p.m.). The Cal-Arizona games will be the first match-up between the schools since the Bears took two from the Wildcats last May to advance to the Women's College World Series championship game.
A LOOK AT THE BRONCOS: Santa Clara (18-22, 4-4 in the Pacific Coast Softball Conference) entertains Cal in midweek action, coming off two wins at Loyola Marymount last Saturday, 6-4 and 2-1. Senior pitcher Jaime Forman-Lau recorded both wins, improving her record to 15-15.
SCOUTING THE ARIZONA SCHOOLS: Arizona State (30-18, 0-4 in the Pac-10) and No. 1 Arizona (40-1, 4-0 in the Pac-10) come to Berkeley after battling with each other last Saturday in Tempe, with Arizona shutting out its in-state rival 8-0 in six innings. Alicia Hollowell improved her record to 27-0 from the circle for the Wildcats while striking out 10 and bringing her season strikeout total to 345. ASU's Bre DeSanta fell to 9-7 with the loss. Hollowell allowed just one hit to Arizona State's Phelan Wright during the contest. The Sun Devils are on a four-game losing streak, while Arizona has won six in a row.
BEARS PICK UP NEEDED WINS DOWN ON THE FARM: After a disappointing 5-3 loss to No. 11 Stanford at home last Friday, the Bears packed up for a Saturday afternoon doubleheader on the Cardinal's home field. The result was much easier to toast on Easter weekend. Cal captured the first game, 1-0, when junior 2B Jessica Pamanian scored on a wild pitch in the top of the fifth inning. Junior P Kelly Anderson recorded the win in Game 1, improving to 19-5. Cal got right back to business in the second game, striking in the top of the first inning by scoring two runs on RBIs from sophomore C Haley Woods and junior SS Chelsea Spencer. The Bears added another four runs in the third to secure a 6-0 victory. Sophomore P Kristina Thorson scattered two hits over seven innings with four strikeouts to pick up her 16th win (16-1) after the rough loss on Friday in Berkeley.
REVIEWING THE CAL PITCHING STAFF: Last week was not the kindest to the Cal pitching staff's numbers, but nevertheless, junior Kelly Anderson and sophomore Kristina Thorson remain two of the best. Thorson leads the Bears with a 0.92 ERA in 129.2 innings of work. She is allowing just 4.16 hits per game and striking out 7.18 per game during her 28 appearances in the circle. Teammate and ace of last year's College World Series squad, Anderson has posted a 1.23 ERA over 142.0 innings, averaging 5.27 hits per game and 5.23 strikeouts per game over 27 games. Thorson has given up only 21 extra-base hits, while Anderson has allowed just 22, including no triples and only five home runs.
BEARS RELENTLESS AT PLATE: Striding into the meat of the Pac-10 season with a 35-6 record and a .500 performance against conference foes thus far, the Bears are no easy line-up for opposing pitchers to face. Six of California's starters are batting better than .300 and four of those carry slugging percentages of .509 or better. Looking even deeper into the Bears' batting statistics, Cal starts eight players on a regular basis with on-base percentages of .324 or better. Not bad for a roster out-hitting its opponents, 326-190, after 41 games.