Cal softball entered this weekend’s series at the Farm hungry for victory in order to stay in the hunt for the postseason, and the team served up three easy wins against its rival Stanford.
Cal improved to 7-10 in Pac-12 play and 33-13 overall thanks to six consecutive conference wins in the series against Utah and Stanford. Stanford is now tied for last place in the conference with a 2-16 conference record and is 22-26 overall.
The Bears needed solid performances in this weekend’s matchup to remain in postseason contention, and their star pitching combo, redshirt junior Zoe Conley and junior Kamalani Dung, delivered. Dung and Conley combined to shut out the Cardinal for the first two games of the series and only allowed one run total.
Conley tallied two wins and a save in the series, while Dung notched her 18th victory of the year, good for fourth in the Pac-12.
Senior Jazmyn Jackson was an offensive force throughout the series, blasting two home runs that totaled seven RBI over the three-game set. Jackson leads the Bears in batting average this season at .361.
Cal’s 3-0 win in the opening game at the Farm was characterized by Conley’s dominance in the circle. The redshirt junior secured her 14th win of the season in a complete game shutout, and she only allowed three hits and three walks to the Cardinal battery, along with six strikeouts.
Stanford junior Carolyn Lee pitched a quality game as well, but things unraveled in the fifth inning. Cal senior Taurie Pogue and freshman Mikayla Coelho started the rally with two consecutive singles.
With both runners on, Jackson delivered a three-run bomb to dead center field, which put the Bears on top, 3-0.
Dung and Conley silenced any scoring potential for the Cardinal offense in another 3-0 Cal victory. Dung started this game and pitched nearly five innings of shutout ball, giving up only two hits and a walk.
Conley relieved Dung in the fifth and quickly racked up three strikeouts in 2 1/3 innings of work. In this performance, she earned her seventh save of the season, which leads the Pac-12.
Cal’s offense came from a variety of players in this game. In the second inning, Coelho put the Bears on the board with a double to left-center field that allowed fellow freshman Cameron Kondo to score from first base.
The Bears put up single runs in the second, third and fifth innings to give the Bears’ pitching duo a chance to nail down the win.
After a productive but relatively quiet weekend, the Cal offense exploded to sweep the series in the final game by an 8-1 margin. The Bears jumped on top quickly with a two-run top of the first, featuring a triple and double from Coelho and senior Kobie Pettis.
Jackson broke the game open in the fourth inning, smashing her first career grand slam to cap off a six-run frame and increase the lead to 8-1.
It was yet another quality start from Conley, who tossed another complete game and only allowed a single run on a solo homer in the third inning.
Max Mennemeier covers softball. Contact him at [email protected]