No. 12 Cal Earns 7-6 Win over No. 4 UCLA at Home

March 28, 2009

Box Score

BERKELEY - The 12th-ranked Cal softball team bounced back from its loss to No. 2 Washington on Friday, with a dramatic 7-6 win over the fourth-ranked UCLA Bruins on Saturday at Levine-Fricke Field. The Golden Bears evened their conference record at 1-1 and snapped their three-game losing streak to the Bruins.

Both teams go at it again tomorrow at Noon. Cal improved to 24-9 (1-1 Pac-10), while UCLA fell to 26-5 (1-1 Pac-10).

'This is exactly what we needed,' said sophomore Valerie Arioto. 'We kept fighting and believing that we could win. It was going back and forth the entire game. I'm just glad we were able to get a win against a quality opponent. We know they [UCLA] will come out swinging tomorrow, so we have to be up to the challenge.'

Arioto earned the win in the circle to improve to 10-1 on the season. She allowed 10 hits and five runs, but no earned runs were charged. She had five strikeouts as well.

Shannon Thomas had a team-high two hits - her seventh multi-hit game of the season, while Gina Leomiti scored two runs.

Bernice Masaniai and Elia Reid both had two-run home runs in the bottom of the fifth inning.

Cal struck first in a game that lasted two hours and 53 minutes with a run in the second inning. Sanoe Kekahuna drew a walk to begin the frame. Two batters later, Jamia Reid punched a single through the right side to plate Kekahuna and put the Bears up 1-0.

The Bruins answered right back with two runs of their own in the top of the third. Amanda Kamekona produced a single to left and soon was followed by GiOnna DiSalvatore, who reached on a fielding miscue by the Bears. With two outs, Andrea Harrison singled up the middle to load the bases, before Megan Langenfeld stroked a single through the left side to plate Kamekona and DiSalvatore, giving the Bruins the 2-1 advantage.

Thanks to a two-run bottom half of the third; Cal reclaimed the lead on a two-out rally. Thomas was able to extend the stanza with a single to third, before Gina Leomiti was hit by a pitch. Kekahuna then delivered a single to left field to score Thomas and tie the game at 2-2. With Leomiti and Kekahuna each moving up a base on the throw home, both runners then advanced another base on a wild pitch to bring in Leomiti and put Cal back up 3-2.

UCLA quickly erased the 3-2 deficit and jumped back in front with a three-run fourth inning. Kaila Shull keyed the inning with a sacrifice fly to right to tie the game at three. After a walk to Andrea Harrison re-loaded the bases, Langenfeld singled to right to bring home Katie Schroeder and DiSalvatore to put UCLA on top 5-3.

Cal did not quit and responded with two two-run home runs off of Donna Kerr by Masaniai and Reid in the bottom of the fourth to take a 7-5 lead.

The game wouldn't be complete without same late inning drama in the top of the seventh. Marissa Drewrey hit the first two batters in the seventh and walked Schroeder to load the bases with no outs. Arioto then went back into the circle and calmly delivered inducing DiSalvatore to groundout (a run scored), Shull to pop up and Monica Harrison to strikeout swinging to end the game.

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