Cal softball’s star ace shuts out Aggies in close 1-0 victory

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Sam Engel/File

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For the third time in as many games, Cal starting pitcher redshirt junior Zoe Conley dominated the competition, this time pitching a complete game shutout to lead Cal softball to a 1-0 win in the Bears’ first home game of the season.

While there was very little offense from either side in Wednesday’s game, Conley was just a little more perfect than opposing ace freshman Brooke Yanez, who was also undefeated coming into the contest. The two pitchers combined to allow just seven hits and only one run.

After 5 1/2 scoreless innings, Cal finally strung together a rally in the bottom half of the sixth.

With one out, senior shortstop Jazmyn Jackson doubled down the left field foul line. Junior Lindsay Rood laid down a successful sacrifice bunt to move Jackson into scoring position and the senior would score on a wild pitch to give Cal the lead.

The one run was all Conley needed, finishing off the Aggies in the next inning.

In addition to earning her third win of the season, Conley’s performance was also the best of the season thus far as well.

In seven innings pitched, she struck out 10 batters and limited the Aggies to three hits while walking two.

Conley has now pitched 19.2 innings and allowed only one earned run, equating to a miniscule 0.36 ERA in the early going.

“We did a lot of little things well today, and Zoe Conley pitched a great game,” head coach Diane Ninemire said.

With five games behind them and an equal number of wins, the Bears hope to remain red-hot as they travel to Palm Springs this weekend for the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic 1. Cal’s first game of the tournament will be at 10:30 a.m. Saturday against Fordham.

Matthew Selman covers softball. Contact him at [email protected]

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