Cal Travels to Gainesville for a Super Regional Showdown with the No. 1 Gators
May 19, 2008
Quick hitsThis is California's third Super Regional appearance since the NCAA adopted the Super Regional format beginning in 2005 ... Cal is in its 23rd straight NCAA postseason ... the Bears captured a World Series crown in 2002 and have been in the WCWS in seven of the last nine years ... Cal is 2-0 versus the Gators in postseason play - both wins coming at the 2000 Regional in Fresno - and 3-1 all-time ... the last time the Bears faced Florida in the regular season was in 1998 (a 3-2 loss at the NFCA Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.) ... Cal is 3-3 in Super Regional games.
Quick hits IINCAA Super Regionals follow a best-of-three format ... the first game of the Gainesville Super Regional will begin at 11:00 a.m. PT on Friday at Pressly Stadium and be televised live on ESPNU ... Saturday's first game will be played at 9:00 a.m. PT and air live on ESPN and ESPN360.com ... if the teams are tied at one game each, a third game will be played 30 minutes after the completion of the noon game to determine a Super Regional winner ... the third game will also air live on ESPN and ESPN360.com.
Quick hits IIICal is an at-large selection from the Pac 10 Conference ... the Bears (43-25) won the Fresno Regional, coming through the winner's bracket ... Cal picked up an opening regional win over Mountain West Champion San Diego State, 4-1, on Friday ... the Bears overcame a 102-degree game-time temperature and a potent Aztec offense to capture its tenth postseason opening victory (out of 11) since the 1998 Regional ... Cal returned back to Bulldog Diamond on Saturday (May 17) defeating the host Bulldogs, 3-0 ... Marissa Drewrey was sensational in the circle, yielding just six hits (no walks with 10 strikeouts) for her 28th win of the season ... it was the 10th time this season that Drewrey had fanned 10 or more batters in a game ... on championship Sunday (May 18), Fresno State forced a second game by defeating the Bears, 3-2, before Cal came back to win the Regional with a 7-6 victory in nine innings ... the score remained deadlocked at 6-6 until the ninth inning when Julie Meyer knocked the game-winning single down the left field line to plate Bernice Masaniai (who led off with a single) to send the Bears to Gainesville.
No. 1-ranked Florida is the top seed in the tournament as they earned the automatic bid from the Southeastern Conference ... this will be Florida's second consecutive Super Regional appearance and its first chance to host the event in Gainesville ... the Gators came through the Gainesville Regional winner's bracket to win their second consecutive regional title, defeating Georgia Tech 7-2 on May 16 and UCF 3-0 on May 17. In the Regional Championship, UCF took game one 1-0 in eight innings, forcing a second game ... the Gators earned the title with an easy 10-0 victory in five innings.
The winner of the Gainesville Super Regional will advance to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla. to face either Houston or Louisiana-Lafayette.
Season records updateAfter scoring five runs in the Fresno Regional, Valerie Arioto ranks second on Cal's single-season charts for runs scored ... Gillian Boxx holds the single-season program record with 56 runs in 1995 ... Arioto's 17 doubles are tied for third-most in a season (needs one more to tie Vicky Galindo and Candace Harper for most in a season) ... her 47 walks are the fifth most in program history ... Ericka Racklin tied Keri Kropke (1992) for the most stolen bases in a season (28) after swiping a bag in the Fresno Regional ... Julie Meyer is tied for fifth for being hit most by pitches with eight this season ... Marissa Drewrey tied Cal's single-season games started record of 46 (Holly Yost, 1997), and now ranks second in appearances in a season with 53 (tying Kristina Thorson from 2006) in Sunday's Regional Championship in Fresno (5/18) ... Gina Leomiti is two RBI shy of cracking the top-five on Cal's single-season charts (would tie Veronica Nelson with 52).
40-40-40Cal earned win No. 40 following its 6-1 win at Oregon on May 3 ... it is the ninth time since 1999 that Cal has won 40 or more games ... Valerie Arioto, Erika Racklin and Gina Leomiti have all scored 40 runs or more this season (the last time Cal had three players with 40 or more runs was in 2004) ... Sanoe Kekahuna, Bernice Masaniai and Leomiti have all produced 40 or more RBI this season.
Team seasoningCal's 478 hits are second in the Pac-10 and the tenth-best mark in the school record book ... Cal's RBI production has been steady as well -- the Bears have accumulated 276 RBI (second most for a season and two shy of tying a school record, also third in the Pac-10) ... Cal set a program record with 278 RBI in 2007 ... the timely hitting has led to a bundle of runs as well -- Cal has crossed home plate 315 times -- third most in a season and third best in the Pac-10 ... Cal had a school-record 322 runs scored in 2007.
The numbers gameCal has outscored its opponents 119-40 in the first two innings of games played this season (58-25 in the first inning and 61-15 in the second inning) ... that scoring outburst has helped Cal to 30-5 record when leading after two innings this season ... additionally, the Bears are 37-5 when leading after four innings and a perfect 25-0 when leading after six ... it also pays to score three or more runs - Cal is 37-4 when scoring three or more runs, but just 6-21 when being held to two runs or less ... the Bears are 33-3 when holding its opposition to two runs or less as well.
Multiple offendersTen Bears have had multi-hit games this season, including Gina Leomiti and Valerie Arioto, who have a team-best 16 multi-hit performances ... Arioto, who has 18 hits in her last 22 games, has five three-hit games this season ... Leomiti is a multiple offender, leading the team with 16 multiple RBI games this year ... four Bears have had five or more RBI in a single game this season (Sanoe Kekahuna, Bernice Masaniai and Julie Meyer).
Generous GinaNamed the Fresno Regional's Co-MVP, Gina Leomiti has been on fire of late ... she hit .500 with two home runs (one was a grand slam), eight RBI and five runs at the Regional ... she has nine hits and nine RBI over her last six games ... went 2-for-5 with the grand slam in Sunday's Regional Championship game that sent the Bears to Gainesville.
Standing tall in the circleMarissa Drewrey, a 6-3 product of Oakdale, Calif., has compiled a 29-17 record with a 1.90 ERA (No. 8 in the Pac-10) and 301 strikeouts (No. 4 in the Pac-10), ... All-Pac-10 honorable mention and NFCA All-Pacific Region second-team selection ... named to the Fresno All-Regional team ... has matched the record for starts (46) in a season for Cal and is tied for second in appearances (53, record is 56 by Holly Yost, 1997) ... picked up three wins at the Fresno Regional, including her 11th shutout of the season with 10 Ks against Fresno State on May 17... nearly pitched a perfect game against UC Davis (4/30) but settled for the one-hit shutout (no walks allowed) in Cal's 1-0 win ... tossed her ninth shutout of the year with 10 strikeouts in Cal's 1-0 win over Stanford on Apr. 20 ... pitched a career-high 11 innings in Cal's 3-2 win over Oregon on Apr. 11 ... earned win No. 20 after allowing one run to nationally-ranked Arizona on Mar. 29 ... earned her first career Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honor on Mar. 18 after compiling a 4-0 record and a 0.72 ERA at the Capital Classic in Sacramento (Mar. 14-16) ... returned from an injury that sidelined her a little over a week and threw two complete game shutouts against nationally-ranked Ohio State and Oklahoma at the Capital Classic ... against No. 19 Ohio State, allowed seven hits (and just three after the second inning) to go along with 10 strikeouts in the 2-0 victory ... the following game against No. 11 Oklahoma, limited the Sooners to three hits over seven innings with three strikeouts ... in the final day of the tournament versus Nevada, fanned a career-best 16 batters to help the Golden Bears to a 5-2 win.
Local celebrityFreshman Valerie Arioto, from Pleasanton, Calif., just 30 miles from Berkeley, earned All-Pac-10 second-team and NFCA All-Pacific Region second-team honors and was named to the Fresno All-Regional team ... referenced by Graham Hays of ESPN.com on his 'new faces poised to make instant impacts' ... has been one of the brightest young stars in the Pac-10 at the plate and in the circle ... one of two players on the team to start all 68 games this year (other is Erika Racklin) ... leads the team in runs (54), hits (67), doubles (17), triples (4) and walks (47) ... her 54 runs are the second-most for a season in program history (record is 56 by Gillian Boxx, 1995) and 47 walks are the fifth-most in a season ... ranks in the top-10 in several Pac-10 offensive categories: second in runs, fifth in hits, third in doubles, first in triples and second in walks ... was clutch vs. UC Davis (4/30) when she hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh inning to score Taylor Kelly from first base, giving the Bears a 1-0 win ... drilled her second home run of the season, a solo shot, and scored two runs in Cal's 3-1 win over Washington (4/27) ... hit a walk-off double in the bottom of the 11th inning to give Cal a 3-2 win over Oregon (Apr. 11) ... went 2-0 and collected a save at the NIST, Mar. 7-9 ... produced a team-best .563 average with two doubles, a triple and eight runs at the Eller Media Stadium Classic (Feb. 29-Mar. 2) ... hit .333 at the dish at the Mustang Classic, with six runs and five RBI ... tossed her first collegiate complete game, one-hit shutout (and nine strikeouts) against Western Michigan on Feb. 16 at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, Ariz.
Rarely caught stealingSenior Erika Racklin has 28 stolen bases (third in the Pac-10 and tied for the most for a season at Cal) in 32 attempts this season and currently has 72 for her career (83 attempts) - second all-time in program history ... Racklin isn't the only Bear not getting caught stealing - Shannon Houston is a perfect 10-for-10, Gina Leomiti is 8-for-9, Valerie Arioto is 13-for-15 and Taylor Kelly is 3-for-3 in stolen base attempts.
Walking it offCal has shown a flair for the dramatic, recording four walk-off hits in the last 37 days ... senior Julie Meyer was the most recent hero, lacing a two-out game-winning single to right field in the bottom of the ninth inning of Sunday's Regional Championship game against Fresno State, sending the Bears to Gainesville ... freshman Valerie Arioto has had a pair of walk-off doubles this year - her first came in the bottom of the 11th inning to give the Bears a 3-2 win over Oregon (Apr. 11) and then she capped off the month of April with a walk-off double in the bottom of the seventh to give Cal a 1-0 win over UC Davis on Apr. 30 ... Bernice Masaniai drilled Cal's only walk-off home run of the year, belting her game-ending round tripper in the bottom of the seventh inning of Cal's 1-0 win over archrival Stanford on Apr. 20.
This and thatJulie Meyer belted her sixth home run of the season against Oregon State (Apr. 13) to give her 25 for her career - fourth all-time in program history ... Erika Racklin went a perfect 5-for-5 at the dish on Apr. 11 vs. Oregon ... Cal recorded grand slams in two straight games - Sacramento State on Mar. 11 (Shannon Houston in the bottom of the fourth inning) and Princeton on Mar. 14 (Sanoe Kekahuna in the bottom of the fourth inning) ... the grand slams were career firsts for Houston and Kekahuna ... Kekahuna tied a school single-game record with seven RBI with a home run and a double vs. Texas Tech on Feb. 16.
900 for NinemireTwenty-first year head coach Diane Ninemire reached another milestone in her storied Cal tenure with career win No. 900, a 15-7 defeat of Long Beach State on Feb. 29. 'I'm very proud to have coached 21 years at Cal,' said Ninemire. 'The 900th win is very special and the team did it in style, putting up 15 runs against a quality opponent in Long Beach State. I'm extremely proud of my career at Cal. Every win has been sweet, but I'll remember this for a long time.' Ninemire has accumulated the second-most wins in Pac-10 history (932) and is the 11th softball coach in NCAA history to have 900 or more wins. The next winningest active coach in the Pac-10 is Stanford's John Rittman, who had 465 entering the 2008 season.
Olympic GoldFormer Cal Bear Vicky Galindo was named to the 15-member U.S. National Team roster when the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA) announced the team that will compete this August in the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China. The 15 athletes will look to defend three consecutive Olympic gold medals when they begin competition in China on Aug.12. A two-time All-American, a three-time all-region selection and a three-time all-conference selection, Galindo played for Cal from 2003-05 and scored 141 runs for the Bears - fourth-most in program history. Seeing time at second and designated player for the national team, Galindo is coming off an outstanding 2007 summer where she was second on the team with a .500 (18-for-36) batting average and had no errors in the field. Since softball's inception as an Olympic sport in 1996, a Cal player or coach has participated in each Olympiad. Michele Granger (USA), Gillian Boxx (USA) and Lisa Martinez (Puerto Rico) appeared in the 1996 Summer Olympics held in Atlanta. In the 2000 Olympiad in Sydney, Nicole DiSalvio was a pitcher for Team Italy. In the 2004 Olympics in Athens, head coach Diane Ninemire, along with Lindsay James and Chloe Kloezeman, suited up for the inaugural Greek national team, while DiSalvio returned for a second stint with Italian the national team.