No. 11/12 Cal Springs to Desert Classic
Feb. 23, 2010
BERKELEY - The No. 12/13 California softball team continues its stretch of tournament play, but will play in its home state for the first time this year. Traveling to Palm Springs, Cal will open its weekend against Fordham at 3:30 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 26. Saturday will feature games against San Diego State (3 p.m.) and Oklahoma State (5:30 p.m.), before ending the weekend onslaught against Colorado State (11 a.m.) and Long Beach State (1 p.m.).
Q&A With the Golden Bears
Standing in at 6-3, senior pitcher Marissa Drewrey is a formidable force in the circle for the Bears softball team. Hailing from Oakdale, Calif., in the central valley, Drewrey easily transitioned into life in Berkeley, a city remarkably different than her hometown. CalBears.com chatted with Drewrey to find out more about her, including how she gave up fast food for an entire year.
To read the Q&A with Marissa, please click here.
To read all past Q&A With the Golden Bears, please click here.
Home Run Central
The Bears have combined for 10 home runs in just 10 games of play. Leading the way is freshman Lindsey Ziegenhirt, who belted four roundtrippers in her first weekend (Feb. 12-14) in a Golden Bear uniform. Just behind her is junior utility Valerie Arioto, who had three last weekend. Freshman pitcher Jolene Henderson, senior infielder Taylor Kelly and senior infielder Shannon Thomas account for the remaining three homers.
Fired Up Frani
Sophomore outfielder Frani Echavarria is currently leading her Bear squad with an impressive .483 batting average. Starting all 10 games for Cal, Echavarria has 14 hits to her credit and is tied for second on the squad with seven RBI. Last season, the Riverside, Calif., native was a Pac-10 All-Freshman honorable mention and started 49 of the 53 as a true freshman.
In the Circle
Cal is splitting time at pitcher between three Bears -Marissa Drewrey (7.88 ERA), Valerie Arioto (2.54 ERA) and Jolene Henderson (1.42 ERA). Arioto has handled the majority of play with 30.1 innings under her belt, allowing just 11 hits and fanning a team-high 44 batters. Henderson, a true freshman, has gone straight to work for the Bears with 24.2 innings and the team-best 1.42 ERA. Adding Henderson to the rotation is refreshing for the Cal pitching squad as all 379 innings of play in 2009 fell on the arms of Drewrey and Arioto.
Walk This Way
Using her pitcher's eye to her advantage, junior hurler Valerie Arioto has earned a team-high 11 walks, good for third in the competitive Pac-10. She is well on her way to a repeat performance of the 2009 season, when she was first on the Cal squad with 41 free trips to first base. Thus far, the Bears have earned 30 walks compared to their opponents' 28. In second place on the Cal squad is sophomore infielder Jace Williams with six.
No Runs for You
With 10 games under its belt, the Cal softball team is showing who's boss, boasting an opponent batting average of just .213 compared to the Bears' .318. Cal has blasted the opposing pitchers for 82 hits and 54 earned runs for a 4.82 opponent ERA while the Bears side ERA is shades lower at 2.78.
We Want a Triple...Just a Little Triple
The Bears are tied for first amongst their Pac-10 compatriots with three triples through the first two weekends of play. Cal has spread its triple-baggers out equally with Echavarria, Jamia Reid and Lindsey Ziegenhirt each hitting one. Adversely, the Bears have not allowed any of their first 10 opponents to reach third on one hit.
Fastest Team in the Conference
Currently, Cal is tops in the Pac-10 Conference with 41 attempts with its next closest competitor, Oregon, in second with 19. Additionally, they are first in stolen bases with 37 while defending national champion No. 1 Washington and Oregon State tied for second with just 14 steals each.
The Bear pitching is paving the way for success this season, issuing a combined 88 strike outs, which is second in the Pac-10. Accounting for exactly half of those Ks is junior standout Valerie Arioto. The Bears are just one fanned batter shy of first in the conference with UCLA in first with 89 and have three more than third-place Oregon (85). Cal is also second in the conference with 29 looking strike outs.
Last Time Out
Opponent All-Time Record Last Meeting Score WinnerFordham 2-0 2/8/09 11-7 CalSan Diego State 10-4 5/16/08 4-1 CalOklahoma State 6-5 3/17/09 2-1 CalColorado State 8-3 3/21/09 1-2 CSULong Beach State 15-10 2/29/08 15-7 Cal
Scouting the Opponent
Opponent Record Batting Average Opp. Batting Avg. ERA USA Today/NFCA ESPN.com/USA Softball PollFordham 3-1 .301 .146 0.75 NR NRSan Diego State 7-3 .284 .214 2.21 RV RVOklahoma State 6-4 .263 .226 3.18 RV RVColorado State 4-5 .263 .349 5.07 NR NRLong Beach State 4-5 .267 .331 6.55 NR NR
Cal in the Rankings
Date Cal Record USA Today/NFCA Poll ESPN.com/USA SoftballPreseason 0-0 12 11Feb. 16 4-1 12 11Feb. 23 8-2 13 11
The Bears wasted no time in demonstrating their base-stealing prowess in the season's first two weekends of play. Cal went 21-23 on the base paths during the season-opening five-game stretch and 16-18 last weekend. Leading the way was Jamia Reid, who collected eight bases on nine attempts in the first weekend, and increasing her totals to 13-16 after starting 10 games. The 13 stolen bags are tops in the Pac-10 for Reid. Last season, Jamia Reid broke the school single-season record with her 29th stolen base at Pacific (3/25) and finished the season with 47 steals, which was tops in the Pac-10, and third in the nation per game.
Next Week on the Diamond
Cal hosts its first home game of the 2010 season in its next action - Wednesday, March 3 at 2 p.m. against UC Davis at Levine-Fricke Field. That same week, the Bears will travel back to Las Vegas, this time for the Las Vegas Tournament, which will be held Friday, March 5-Sunday, March 7. There, the Bears will face off against New Mexico State (March 5, 11:15 a.m.), Weber State (March 5, 3:45 p.m.) before two games on Saturday, March 6 - Portland State (9 a.m.) and Southern Utah (1:30 p.m.) and close the weekend against host UNLV on Sunday, March 7 at 2:30 p.m.
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Top of the Rankings to Ya!
In the preseason rankings, the Bears faired quite well. Cal was ranked 11th in the country, according to the ESPN.com/USA Softball preseason poll after finishing in the 12 spot in the final 2009 ranking. During the 2010 regular season, the Bears will face off against nine of the other 24 teams in that poll, including defending national champion Washington. The Bears were ranked No. 12 in the USA Today/NFCA Preseason Poll.
Remembering Last Season
Last year, Cal qualified for the postseason for the 24th consecutive season, the second-longest streak in the nation and the longest in the Pac-10. The Bears won their NCAA Regional at Florida State before falling at top-seeded Florida in the Super Regionals. Over the course of the year, the Bears broke team records for stolen bases (146) and home runs (55).
Arioto Named to ASA Top-50 Watch List
Valerie Arioto was selected to the Amateur Softball Association of America (ASA)'s initial watch list for the ninth annual USA Softball National Collegiate Player of the Year Award. This award, which is considered one of the most prestigious honors in Division I women's collegiate softball, is designed to recognize outstanding athletic achievement by female collegiate softball players across the country. Arioto, who is an alternate for the U.S. senior national team, earned placement on the list last year as well.
Bears on the National Scene
Vicky Galindo, a three-year letterwinner for the California softball team, accepted a spot on the U.S. national team and current junior standout Valerie Arioto was named an alternate, the Amateur Softball Association announced recently. Arioto and Galindo attended the 2010 softball women's national team selection camp, which was held in Chula Vista, Calif., from Jan. 4-8. Galindo was one of 17 athletes who were offered a USA Softball Athlete Agreement for the 2010 season. The final roster for the 2010 USA softball women's national team will be announced in March. The squad will be competing in the ISF Women's World Championships, held June 23-July 2 in Caracas, Venezuela as well as other events to be scheduled at a later date.
Hall of Fame Status
California head coach Diane Ninemire was inducted into the National Fastpitch Coaches Association's 2009 Hall of Fame class in December. Ninemire, who joined Frank Cheek of Humboldt State University and Bill Edwards of Hofstra University, was inducted in front of the NFCA, former Golden Bears, her colleagues and family members at the Renaissance Hotel in Nashville, Tenn. During Ninemire's tenure at Cal, 35 All-America, 86 all-region and 146 all-conference certificates have been issued to the Bears. Since her first year in the dugout in 1988, Diane Ninemire has continually taken the Bears to new heights as one of the winningest and most successful softball programs in the nation. From 1999-2005, Cal made seven straight trips to the College World Series, and Ninemire has one national championship, nine Women's College World Series trips, and 21 straight NCAA Regional appearances to her credit.