Cal softball prepares to welcome Saint Mary’s

Timothy Dawson/Staff

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Over the weekend, the Cal softball team (15-14-1, 3-4-1 Pac-12) didn’t make a great case for itself in the Pac-12, dropping two games to Arizona State in a three-game series. The only victory for the Bears over the weekend came Saturday, when they narrowly defeated the Sun Devils in a 7-6 victory.

Cal will have to wait until April 8 to rebound in conference play, but there won’t be anytime to rest before then. The Bears will be going up against Saint Mary’s (13-17-1) on Wednesday at home, a team looking to win its second straight game after completing a sweep of Iona College.

“Every series in the Pac-12 is a dogfight, because everybody’s good and anybody could beat up anybody on any day,” said Cal head coach Diane Ninemire. “If we can come out like we did (Saturday) than we’ll have a great opportunity to do some things for ourselves, and put each other in better positions.”

Sophomore Kobie Pettis will enter this game on fire after a great weekend in which she hit .700, hitting in five runs across the entire series. Her best game of the weekend came Saturday when she went 3-4 with 3 RBI. She also hit in the two game-winning RBI in the bottom of the seventh, securing the close 7-6 victory for Cal, the team’s only victory of the entire series. Pettis will need to once again be a big part of the offense this Wednesday if the Bears want to add another W to their record.

Saint Mary’s, however, have several powerful hitters that can give the Bears trouble. Leading the pack is senior Shannon Low, who hit .600 in the two-game sweep over Iona. Senior Katelyn Mamizuka also had a great series, hitting .750 in four at bats and driving in a run.

Saint Mary’s also has several formidable pitchers that will look to strike early, literally. Katie Moss is one of them, pitching her team to victory the last time she stepped in the circle. Moss led her team in just less than six innings, only allowing three hits and two runs. She also struck out five in the process.

Cal’s pitching squad, on the other hand, will be entering this game off one of its toughest series of its season — such as junior Katie Sutherland-Finch, who gave up six runs Sunday in the Bears’ loss to the Sun Devils. She also gave up eight hits in just 5.1 innings of pitching. But she wasn’t the only one that had a bad day, freshman Kourtney Shaw’s outing was just as unsuccessful, giving up three earned runs in just .2 innings of pitching.

“(On Sunday) we didn’t get good pitching performances, and it shouldn’t have but it carried over into our defense and especially our hitting,” Ninemire said. “This was a real letdown and disappointment, but things like this sometimes happen for a reason, so we just have to collect our thoughts and get back to work.”

The Bears have no time to reflect on any of this, though, and a win Wednesday can ensure that Cal’s season heads back on track.

Alex Quintana covers softball. Contact him at [email protected]