Cal Stifles Northern Iowa, 2-0
March 9, 2008
Hayward - The California Golden Bear softball team (19-9) needed just two runs to defeat Northern Iowa by a count of 2-0 in the final day of the National Invitational Softball Tournament (NIST) at the Alden E. Oliver Sports Park in Hayward on Sunday.
The Bears finished the tournament with a 4-1 record, picking up wins against Boston College, Tennessee State, San Jose State and Northern Iowa. Cal has now won 11 of its last 13 games since Feb. 23.
Brittany LaRosa and Valerie Arioto combined to pitch the five-hit shutout, as LaRosa (two innings, three hits and one strikeout) earned the victory (4-3), while Arioto (three innings, two hits, six strikeouts) collected the save - the first of her career at Cal. This was also the fourth shutout of the season for the Cal pitching staff. Since Mar. 6, LaRosa and Arioto have combined for a 5-1 record.
Cal scored both runs in the top of the first inning without producing a hit. Arioto led off the game with a walk, before advancing to second base after Erika Racklin reached on a fielding error by the UNI third baseman. Arioto would eventually be out on a fielder's choice one play later, but it still left two runners (Racklin and Gina Leomiti) on base with one out. After a double steal was implemented, Racklin was keen enough to take advantage of UNI's inability to retrieve the ball and dart for home plate to score the game's first run. Leomiti, who advanced to third when Racklin crossed home plate, would then score on a wild pitch delivered by UNI's Jen Larsen to give Cal the 2-0 lead.
The Bears return to action on Tuesday, March 11 against Sacramento State at 2 p.m. from Levine-Fricke Field.