Five-Run Fifth Powers Cal Past No. 24 Stanford
BERKELEY – California used a five-run fourth inning to take the series opener against Bay Area rival No. 24 Stanford, 5-2, on Thursday at Levine-Fricke Field.
The Bears (23-17, 5-8 Pac-12) picked up their fourth victory of the season against a ranked opponent, out-hitting the Cardinal 9-3. Cal handed Stanford (26-11, 5-5 Pac-12) starter and reigning National Pitcher of the Week, Alana Vawter her fifth loss of the year.
Makena Smith returned to the Golden Bear lineup and went 2-for-4 at the plate with two RBI, while D'Asha Saiki added two hits and two RBI, including a go-ahead double with two outs.
HOW IT HAPPENED
It was a pitcher's duel for the first three full with Cal starter Sona Halajian and Vawter each allowing just a pair of hits and no runs through the opening three frames. Stanford was able to take a lead in the top of fourth behind a walk, stolen base and an error, but Cal had the quick answer in the home half.
Acacia Anders walked and Halajian singled to put two on base with nobody out. After a strikeout, a wild pitch put two in scoring position for the Bears and Amani Bradley came through with an RBI single to plate Anders and tie the score at 1-1.
Saiki followed with her shot to the wall in right and Cal took its first lead of the game at 3-1, chasing Vawter from the circle. Smith gave the Bears some insurance with a single over the head of second base for a 5-1 advantage.
The Cardinal were able to get one back in the fifth, but Halajian retired the final eight Stanford hitters in order as she picked up her 15th win of the season in the circle. Halajian went the full seven innings, allowing just one earned run on three hits.
Cal and No. 24 Stanford meet for game two of the series Friday, April 15 with a 2 pm PT first pitch from Levine-Fricke Field.