Last weekend, the Cal softball team was caught in the rain in its opening home series, only having the opportunity to finish game one of a three-game series against No. 14 UCLA. The Bears were forced to sit through hours of bad weather only to be disappointed. Luckily for Cal, weather will not be an issue Wednesday in its next scheduled home game against Sacramento State, so one team will end the day with a new loss on its record.
A win against the Hornets will not be easy to accomplish, as they are currently on a five game win streak. Sacramento State hopes that Cal will become its sixth victim in a row, but getting past Bears such as sophomore infielder Taurie Pogue will be much easier said than done.
“I’m really excited, I know a lot of the team’s families will be here, so that’s always a plus,” Pogue said. “We feel like we got robbed last week by the weather, so it’ll be like our opening weekend all over again.”
Cal will need to do everything in its power in order to defeat an always tough Sacramento State and win its second game in a row. The Bears showed tremendous fight the last time they were on the field, defeating Oregon State 4-3 on March 26. And it was Pogue who single handedly led the team, having one of the best games of her collegiate career. She finished the day with two hits and two RBI, which included a home run that gave the Bears a 4-0 lead in the top of the fifth.
From that point on, Cal’s pitching was able to lead the team to victory despite a seventh inning rally by the Beavers.
The Bears are hoping they can bring this type of team effort to the field once again. And they’ll need to bring every inch of it if they want to get past the Hornets on Wednesday.
Sacramento State has several players on its team that could make a difference with a single swing of the bat. Cal will especially need to keep its eyes on junior infielder Jessica Ravetti, who is coming off a game against North Dakota State in which she led the team with two hits and two RBI in just three appearances at the plate.
Sacramento State’s pitching will also be no small task for Cal to overcome, as it has been instrumental in the Hornets’ current five game win streak. This was seen in the team’s last outing, when the pitching staff combined to shut out the Bisons from getting on the board.
But the Bears have some firepower of their own that they’ll be sending to the circle. At the forefront is starting pitcher Nisa Ontiveros, who pitched a fabulous four innings against the Beavers before handing the ball off to Kourtney Shaw. Ontiveros ended her day by only giving up four hits and striking out four batters.
Cal will do everything in its power to end the Hornets’ win streak, an outcome that will give the team some confidence heading into much tougher Pac-12 competition.
“We have so much versatility on this team that it’s amazing, everyone’s very athletic,” Pogue said. “But we’re a very selfless team, we like to put each other first and that’s when we’re at our best.”
Alex Quintana covers softball. Contact him at [email protected]