Cal softball drops series to No. 11 Washington

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The Cal softball team (21-17-1), after struggling in the first two games of the series, at last caught its offensive rhythm in its final game Sunday against No. 11 Washington (28-9). With four players compiling two hits each in the game, the Bears were finally able to get their offense started early, allowing them to pull out a 5-3 victory against the Huskies, a win that would top off an otherwise tough weekend for Cal.

The Bears’ first game of the series started off promising. Cal came out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning when the bases were loaded thanks to two singles and a walk, its first run scored on a wild pitch from Washington’s Taran Alvelo. Shortly after, a single from Khala Taylor brought the Bears another run and a 2-0 lead.

Cal, however, could not hold on for long. The Huskies started their comeback in the third inning when senior Dani Braun hit an RBI double to bring sophomore Taylor Van Zee home. Their scoring continued in the fourth with a solo home run from Kimberlee Souza to tie the score at 2-2.

The game stayed neck and neck with neither team scoring again until the bottom of the seventh inning when Van Zee hit a solo home run to give the Huskies the offensive push that they needed to secure their first win against Cal this season.

Senior Nisa Ontiveros led Cal from the circle Friday, pitching the whole game and compiling nine strikeouts — three times the amount that the two Huskies’ pitchers were able to combine for.

In their next game, it was the Bears making the last inning push. Cal entered the seventh inning down 2-1 and responded accordingly, loading the bases quickly. The Huskies were then able to convert two quick outs before the Bears loaded the bases once again. Washington captured the last out it needed when a grounder was hit to sophomore third baseman Julia Deponte, ending Cal’s final hope for a comeback.

The Bears’ single run Saturday came in the third inning when Jazmyn Jackson brought in Lindsay Rood with an RBI single after Rood had made her way to first base off of a walk and then stole her way to second. Jackson led Cal in hitting with three total hits from four at-bats.

In the circle, the Bears were led by Katie Sutherland-Finch who compiled three strikeouts and allowed just four hits over the course of four innings.

In their final game Sunday, the Bears were able to come out to an early lead in the second thanks to an RBI single from Jasmin Mejia and a subsequent run scored by Kobie Pettis. The scoring continued throughout the inning with an RBI by Kylie Reed and another run scored by Jackson because of wild pitching from the Huskies.

Washington brought in one run in the fourth but the Bears were able to hold on to their four-run lead thanks to a big sacrifice fly from Rood earlier in the fourth. The sixth inning saw a final push from the Huskies when Souza hit a two-run homer to cut the lead to two. Ontiveros, however, was able to pull out some clutch pitching to finish out the inning and maintain Cal’s lead, allowing them to finish out the game with a 5-3 win.

Sophie Goethals covers softball. Contact her at [email protected]