Sutton Lifts California to a Pair of Wins
Feb. 23, 2007
PALM SPRINGS -
Alex Sutton belted three home runs on Friday afternoon helping the No. 16-ranked California softball team earned a pair of victories over Oklahoma State and Notre Dame at the Palm Springs Classic (hosted by Oregon State) to extend their winning streak to a season-high five games.
Cal relied on a first inning grand slam from Sutton and prevented a seventh inning rally to top Notre Dame, 7-5, before having to rally from a 3-0 deficit to defeat Oklahoma State, 6-3, in the nightcap.
The Golden Bears (9-4) play two more games tomorrow vs. Oklahoma at 10 a.m. and Ohio State at 3:30 p.m.
In their late afternoon clash with Oklahoma State, the Cowgirls jumped out to a quick start posting three runs in the first inning, which included a Courtney Totte two-run home run off starting pitcher Brittany LaRosa.
California's bats exploded in the fourth inning when Sutton connected for her second home run of the afternoon (a solo shot over the left field wall) to trim the deficit to 3-1. A few batters later, Morgan Siegel produced a single that plated pinch runner, Shannon Houston, making it 3-2, Oklahoma State. A Gina Leomiti ground out to the second baseman manufactured two more runs and the eventual lead for Cal (Taylor Kelly and Siegel scored). Bernice Masaniai added a double to center field that scored Christina Schallig, who had reached on fielding error. In all, the Bears notched five runs on four hits to take a 5-3 lead.
Sutton delivered yet again in the top of the seventh inning with a solo home run to put Cal up, 6-3.
Marissa Drewrey pitched the final six innings, scattering six hits to collect her third win of the season.
Sutton's first inning grand slam sparked Cal to a 7-5 victory over Notre Dame in the earlier game of the day.
After Notre Dame was held scoreless in the top of the first, Cal responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning, courtesy of the Sutton blast. Siegel got things going with a single to left field with one out. Siegel then advanced to second base after Christina Schallig singled up the middle. After Masaniai was issued a walk to load the bases, Katie Vickers reached on a fielder's choice which resulted in Siegel being thrown out at home plate. Faced with two outs, Sutton planted the ball over the left field wall to give Cal a 4-0 lead.
The score remained 4-0 until the third inning when Vickers delivered a single to left field to plate Siegel who was issued a walk to start the inning, giving the Bears a 5-0 advantage.
Notre Dame finally got on the board in the top of the fourth inning when Gessica Hufnagle connected for a two-run home run to trim the lead to 5-2.
The Bears continued to add to their lead with a run in the bottom of the fifth when Julie Moore, who was inserted as a pinch runner, scored on a Vernae Sevilla double to right field, and another run in the sixth when Siegel scored her second run of the afternoon on an infield error, giving Cal a 7-2 advantage.
The Irish made things interesting in the top of the seventh after Stephanie Mola drew a walk with one out and advanced to second on a single from Stephanie Brown. After Beth Northway flied out to Sutton in center field, another walk to Linda Kohan followed to load the bases. Heather Johnson came through for ND with a two-run double scoring both Mola and Brown, making the score 7-4. After a Cal pitching change which saw LaRosa relieve starter, Lauren Frankiewicz, Kohan would scamper home on an ensuing wild pitch to make the score 7-5. The following pitch from LaRosa briefly got away from catcher Julie Meyer, enough so where Johnson tried to take advantage of the situation, but was thrown out at the plate after Meyer recovered the ball and tossed it back to LaRosa to end the dramatic finish.
Bear Notes...Morgan Siegel extended her stolen bases streak to five games ... Siegel has also scored one or more runs in her last five games ... Christina Schallig extended her hitting streak to five games ... Cal is also ranked No. 17 in the ESPN/USA Softball Top 25 poll ... Katie Vickers also has a five-game hit streak ... Alex Sutton has 10 RBI over her last four games ... the Bears have hit a home run in four of their last five games ... Cal moved to 9-0 when leading after four innings this year