No. 9 California Hosts Santa Clara; Travels to CCC in Palm Springs

Feb. 17, 2009

BERKELEY - The ninth-ranked California softball team (ranked 10th in the NFCA top 25 poll) has a busy week beginning with its home opener against Santa Clara on Wednesday at 3:00 p.m., followed by a return visit to Palm Springs for the Cathedral City Classic, Feb. 20-22.

Cal (7-1) went 3-1 last weekend at the Carolina Classic in Chapel Hill, N.C., collecting wins against Wichita State, George Washington and Penn State and falling 4-3 to No. 23 North Carolina. Freshmen twin sisters Jamia and Elia Reid along with senior Gina Leomiti collected all-tournament team accolades as well.

Jamia Reid continued her torrid pace at the plate at the Classic by hitting .500 with six runs, two home runs, four RBI, 12 total bases, a 1.000 slugging % and a perfect 5-for-5 in stolen bases.

In Friday's game against Wichita State and Cal up 2-0 late in the game, Reid helped widen the lead with a 2-run home run with two outs in the sixth inning. In the 5-1 win over George Washington, she went 2-for-3 with two runs and three stolen bases - including consecutive steals of second and third base in the fifth inning before scoring. And in the final day of the tournament, Reid launched her fifth home run of the season on the very first pitch in the fifth inning. Reid was also the catalyst in the first inning for the Bears when she singled, stole second and then scored courtesy of Leomiti's single down the right field line on a 3-1 pitch, giving Cal the early 1-0 lead.

So far this season, Jamia Reid ranks sixth in the Pac-10 in slugging pct. (.964), fourth in runs (12), second in RBI (13), third in home runs (5) and third in stolen bases (9).

Meanwhile her twin sister Elia had a solid weekend in Carolina and raised her stolen base total to a Pac-10-best 13. Elia also ranks fifth in the conference and tops on the Bears in batting average at. 478. Elia is right behind Jamia in runs with 11 and is third on the team with 10 RBI.

Leomiti also put together a solid weekend at the Carolina Classic and upped her batting average to over .300 (.305). She led the team with seven RBI over the weekend and connected on her first home run of the season against Wichita State.

Efficient pitching was also on display for the Bears in North Carolina. Valerie Arioto fanned a career-high 16 GWU batters - tied for the third-most in a game in school history - in Cal's 5-1 win over the Colonials. The 16 strikeouts were the most since her teammate Marissa Drewrey recorded 16 Ks last year against Nevada. And speaking of Drewrey, the junior hurler was one out away from tossing her second career no-hitter against Penn State on Sunday, settling for the one-hit shutout.

Drewrey has racked up nine or more strikeouts her last three outings and ranks fourth in the Pac-10 with 45 on the season. Arioto owns the second-lowest ERA in the league at 0.88.

Team wise, Cal has outscored its opponents 65-16 this year, including a 16-0 burst in the first inning. Cal by far is one of the fastest teams in the Pac-10 and that is evidenced by its league-leading 36 steals on 37 attempts. And the school stole base record may be in jeopardy - 101 set in 1979. Elia Reid is 13-14, while Jamia Reid is 9-9. Shannon Thomas is also a perfect 6-6. Elia Reid is already 15 steals away from tying the single season record of 28 set by Erika Racklin last season.

Wednesday's match-up with Santa Clara will be the 72nd in program history, and the Bears have won all 71 of them, including two last season. The Broncos have not played a game this season because of the heavy Northern California rains.

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