Woods Hits Two Homers as Cal Defeats Nebraska, 4-2, in NCAA Regional
May 20, 2006
IOWA CITY, Iowa - Seniors Haley Woods and Kristina Thorson continued to dominate the competition in the Iowa City Regional, Saturday. Woods did her part at the plate, hitting two home runs; Thorson took control from the circle, allowing just one hit while striking out 12, as the California softball team defeated Nebraska, 4-2, at Pearl Field to advance to the regional championship game.
Cal (46-12) will take on the winner of Saturday's late game. The Bears' contest starts at noon, Sunday.
'This was a tremendous win for us today against a great team from Nebraska,' said Cal head coach Diane Ninemire, who is a native of Nebraska. 'We're used to having tough games against them, and today we had a great pitching performance from our pitcher Kristina Thorson.
With her 34th win of the season, Thorson set a new Cal single-season record for wins, passing Hall of Famer Michele Granger, who won 33 games in 1991.
In the bottom of the first, Woods lifted a high fly ball just inside the foul pole over the left field wall to put the Bears up 1-0. Sophomore Julie Meyer led off the third inning with a solo home run to left field, which gave the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Woods wasn't done. Later in the third, the Burlingame, Calif., native sent a hard-hit ball to straightaway left field, scoring senior Lindsay James, who had reached base on a single to left field, and giving the Bears a 4-0 lead. It was Woods' 16th home run of the season, which ties her career high for home runs in a season. She also hit 16 in 2004.
Nebraska (43-11) cut into the Bears' lead, scoring two unearned runs in the fourth inning. Jessica Yoachim, who had reached base on an error, scored from second on a sacrifice bunt from Trisha Tannahill. Jaime Borg scored Nebraska's second run when teammate Devin Porter reached base on a Cal error.
'We were a little disappointed with our defense and we'll have to pick things up for our game tomorrow,' Ninemire said. 'We know whomever we play tomorrow, it will be a great game. All the teams here have great pitching staffs and are great defensive teams. We're looking forward to tomorrow's championship game.'
Woods nearly had a third home run in the sixth inning, hitting a long fly ball to deep right field that was caught just in front of the wall.
The Bears finished with six hits overall. Meyer finished 2-for-2, and sophomore Katie Vickers went 1-for-3. Woods was 2-for-3, and James was 1-for-3.