Arioto, Kekahuna Spark Cal Comeback Victory
Feb. 20, 2008
Santa Clara, CA - With the California softball team trailing 5-2 heading into the top of the sixth inning at Santa Clara, freshmen Valerie Arioto and Sanoe Kekahuna sparked am impressive rally with key hitting to lift the Golden Bears to a 7-5 win in eight innings over the Broncos at Marsalli Park on Wednesday.
Cal (7-5) returns to action later this week at the Cal Poly Mustang Classic in San Luis Obispo, Feb. 22-24.
Kekahuna was solid at the dish, posting three hits on four plate appearances with two RBI and two runs. Kekahuna, who is hitting a crisp .405 this season, also extended her hitting streak to eight games. She also ranks second in the Pac-10 with 19 RBI this season.
Arioto, meanwhile, went 2-for-5 with a run and an RBI, while collecting win No. 2 in the circle. Sophomore Bernice Masaniai did some damage at the plate as well, notching three hits and an RBI.
The Broncos unlocked a scoreless tie with a run in the bottom of the third inning when Amanda Edmonson drove in Shelby Gibbs with a single off of Cal starter Marissa Drewrey.
Cal responded in the next frame to tie the game at one apiece when Savannah Hensley (inserted as a pinch runner at second base) scored on a fielding miscue by Santa Clara first baseman, Noelani Ho'opi'i. The Bears had the bases loaded with two outs, but could not generate any more runs in the stanza.
The Bears took a temporary 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth after Masaniai slapped a single to center field allowing for Erika Racklin (who led the inning off with a single) to score from second base.
Santa Clara's offense exploded with four runs in the bottom half of the fifth to take a 5-2 lead. A fielding error by the Bears opened the door for two SCU runs in the inning.
Kekahuna, who led off the Cal sixth with a double to right field, worked her way to home plate after a Taylor Kelly walk and Arioto single, trimming the Bronco lead to 5-3. In the Cal top half of the seventh Kekahuna connected on a two-out single to plate Vernae Sevilla, before a Brittany LaRosa single plated Kekahuna, knotting the score at 5-5.
Arioto led off the eighth inning with a single and quickly advanced to third base after a Gina Leomiti walk and Shannon Houston single. SCU pitcher Jerrica Castagno then walked Sevilla, one batter later, allowing Arioto to score and push Cal ahead, 6-5. Leomiti scored two batters later after Castagno walked Kekahuna.
Arioto induced three straight groundouts in the Santa Clara eighth to preserve the Cal victory.