Cal Faces Stanford, Heads To Long Beach State
BERKELEY - Three in-state road games are on the slate this week for the California softball team. The Golden Bears (16-14, 3-8) will remain in the Bay Area to face Stanford for the third time this season in a non-conference matchup before heading to Southern California for a doubleheader at Long Beach State.
Cal begins the week with a mid-week tilt at Stanford on Wednesday, May 5, at 4 p.m. The game will be the rubber match in the Bears' season series against the Cardinal after these teams split their first two meetings on The Farm earlier this season. The Bears then face The Beach in a doubleheader on Saturday, May 8, beginning at noon.
Following a near three-week hiatus, Cal returned to action last weekend at No. 9 Arizona, dropping both games to the Wildcats, 9-0 and 11-1. Mikayla Coelho notched three hits in the two games, including a double and an RBI that scored Sabrina Nunez for Cal's lone run of the weekend.
Coelho picked up where she left off prior to the multi-week break against Arizona, finishing 3-for-4 at the plate, the only Bear to notch three hits. In the last 11 games, Coelho is batting .536 (15-for-28), and also enjoying an 11-game hitting streak, a season best for the Bears. Prior to those 11 games, she was batting .227 on the year and she has since raised it to .347.
Makena Smith is the only Bear who has started all 30 games this season. She leads the Bears with six home runs, and her three home runs in the Utah series were critical in Cal's three wins. She also posted an RBI single in Game 2 of the Saturday doubleheader against the Utes, giving her four RBI in a game for the first time this season and the second time in her career.
Smith's homers are part of Cal's success when going deep in 2021. The Bears posted six round trippers in the three wins over Utah earlier this season. Sona Halajian and Karlee Sparacino are second on the team with three home runs each.
Sabrina Nunez has reached base safely in her last five games played. Her .372 batting average (16-for-43) in 25 games played ranks first on the team.
In the circle, Haylei Archer paces the Bears with eight wins while Chloe Romero is right behind her with seven. Romero leads her squad in strikeouts with 48, and Archer is right behind her with 47. During Cal's four-game series against Utah, Romero earned her second save of the season. Archer and Romero each pitched in four games against the Utes, and both struck out 12 batters. Archer went 3-0 that week, garnering the win at Saint Mary's before picking up two victories over the Utes. She went six innings in the win in the second game of the Saturday doubleheader.
Cal wraps up the regular season by hosting No. 8 Oregon next weekend in Berkeley. The Bears and Ducks will battle from Thursday, May 13, to Saturday, May 15, from Levine-Fricke Field. Saturday's contest will also mark Senior Day for the Bears playing their final game in Berkeley.
Cal All-Time Against Stanford and Long Beach State
The Bears lead the all-time series against Stanford by a wide margin, 76-32, after they split two non-conference matchups earlier this season. The last time these teams met in Pac-12 play was March 24, 2019, an 11-10 victory by the Cardinal. Stanford won both meetings in 2019 after Cal enjoyed a 12-game winning streak that started in 2015.
Cal is 19-10 all-time against Long Beach State. These teams last met on Feb. 24, 2019, in a game that resulted in a 12-9 win for the Bears. Further back in program history, Cal is also enjoying a five-game winning streak in the all-time series.
Bears Split First Two Meetings With The Cardinal
Cal went 1-1 earlier this season against Stanford at the Stanford Invitational. The Cardinal won the first meeting, 3-2, despite Sona Halajian posting a career-best seven strikeouts in the circle and an RBI single at the plate. Tatum Anzaldo posted her first career hit and the ensuing error on the throw to first allowed Candace Yingling to score. Cal won the second game, 5-3, behind a complete game for Haylei Archer in her first career start. Archer allowed two earned runs on eight hits, no walks and she recorded three strikeouts. Sophie Medellin recorded a two-run single, while Anzaldo and Cameron Kondo posted back-to-back RBI singles. Anzaldo notched two RBI in the game.
Coelho Enjoying 11-Game Hitting Streak
In the last 11 games, Mikayla Coelho is batting .536 (15-for-28), and also enjoying an 11-game hitting streak, a season best for the Bears. She batted .500 during the series at Washington and the following week at Saint Mary's and the Utah series. Three of her hits at Washington were doubles, and also a solo home run. Against Saint Mary's and Utah, she singled six times. Last weekend in the two games at Arizona, Coelho went three-for-four with a double and an RBI. Prior to the Washington series, Coelho was batting .227 with 10 hits. On the season, Coelho is batting .347.
Cal is 6-1 when homering twice in a game this season. Cal blasted six home runs in four games against Utah, including three from Makena Smith. Sona Halajian, Alexis Bishop and D'Asha Saiki also went yard against the Utes. Prior to playing the Utes, Halajian's two-run round tripper was all the scoring in Cal's 2-0 win against Oregon State on March 20. The Bears erased a 4-1 deficit at Fresno State on March 14, capped by a grand slam by Aleia Agbayani to win, 7-5. In the 7-5 win over UC Santa Barbara on March 5, the Bears fell behind early, 3-0, and clawed their way back with Kacey Zobac's grand slam the deciding factor in the victory. Karlee Sparacino belted a grand slam on Feb. 26 in the Bears' 7-4 win over California Baptist. Sparacino also hit her third homer of the season in Cal's 2-0 win at Pacific on March 17. Sparacino knocked in the game-winning run in the bottom of the seventh in the home opener against Saint Mary's after Candace Yingling's two-run homer evened the game with two outs.
Smith Named To The USA Softball Collegiate Player Of The Year Top 50 Watch List
During the preseason, Makena Smith was tabbed to the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List. Smith belted three home runs in four games against Utah, guiding the Bears to victory in each game she homered in. Her six home runs lead the team, as well. She has notched three-hit games on three occasions thus far in 2021, including a 3-for-4 day in the home opener on Feb. 21 against Saint Mary's with a home run and an RBI double. Smith smacked her second home run of the season during the Bears' comeback victory over UC Santa Barbara on March 5. She's the only Bear to start every game this season. She's second on the team with seven multi-hit games in 2021, and a team-best six multi-RBI performances.