Cal Hosts Washington and UCLA this Weekend

March 26, 2009

BERKELEY - The No. 12 Cal softball team opens its conference schedule this weekend with matchups against No. 2 Washington on Friday and No. 4 UCLA on Saturday and Sunday at Levine-Fricke Field. The Golden Bears sport a 23-8 overall record and on Wednesday snapped their three-game losing streak with an 11-6 win at Pacific.

As a promotions side note, on Saturday there will be a post-game kids run and on Sunday, the first 100 fans will receive a set of trading cards. There will also be a post-game autograph session.

Cal set a team and individual milestone against Pacific on Wednesday. The Bears registered four steals against the Tigers, giving them 104 for the season - a new school record. Additionally, freshman Jamia Reid set a school single-season record with her 29th stolen base against Pacific.

The 104 steals are by far the most in the Pac-10 (Oregon is second in the league with 41). Elia Reid and Shannon Thomas both have 22 steals as well.

Cal's offense also came alive, after having just scored three runs in its last three games prior to Pacific, with 11 runs, including four home runs - two courtesy of sophomore Valerie Arioto. It was the sixth time this season that Cal has scored 10 or more runs this season.

Speaking of offense, sophomore Sanoe Kekahuna has been on a tear at the plate with a 10-game hitting streak (since Mar. 12 vs. Wisconsin). In that span, Kekahuna is hitting .357 with four home runs, six RBI and four runs.

Arioto leads the Bears with 28 runs this year (she scored the second most runs for a season in school history last season with 55), and has eight games with two or more runs. She has well surpassed her home run total of two last with six this season.

There has also been good production from the Cal pitching staff this season as well. The duo of Arioto and Marissa Drewrey have combined for the third-lowest ERA (1.48) and have only allowed 15 extra base hits, second-lowest in the conference.

Drewrey sports the most wins with 14 and has had four games with 10 or more strikeouts. She has had 21 strikeouts in her last 16.2 innings.

The Huskies (27-3) enter conference play after having swept New Mexico in a three-game series at Husky Softball Stadium in their final non-conference tune-up. UW won the first game in five innings via the mercy rule, 14-3, before being pushed to extra innings by New Mexico but squeaking by, 4-3. In the final game, UW broke out with five runs in the sixth inning to break open a close game and win the finale, 9-2.

Freshmen Felecia Harris and Jenna Clifton carried the pitching load over the weekend, with Harris getting two wins and Clifton one in her first career start to give Danielle Lawrie a rest. Ashley Charters led UW at the plate, going 8-for-11 (.727) with five runs and four RBI to go along with four stolen bases. Freshman Niki Williams also had a big weekend, going 5-for-10 with five runs and four RBI. UW hit four home runs over the weekend, including three in the opening game, with Harris, Lawrie, Morgan Stuart and Taylor Smith supplying the power.

The fourth-ranked Bruins pounded out 10 hits and a pair of home runs in an 8-0, six-inning victory in game one of Tuesday's doubleheader, but lost 7-2 in the nightcap to UC Santa Barbara at Easton Stadium. Junior Kaila Shull drove in five of the Bruins' 10 runs in the twinbill.

The Bruins moved to 25-4 with the split.

In game one, Shull and senior Amanda Kamekona accounted for all eight Bruin runs batted in. Kamekona went 3-for-4 with five RBI, while Shull was 2-for-4 with three runs batted in. Freshman Andrea Harrison also had two hits for the Bruins, who had 10 as a team. Sophomore Donna Kerr improved to 14-3 on the season, giving up four hits while striking out three.

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