To kick off Pac-12 play, the Bears competed against the Huskies in a three-game series. They then competed against Sacramento State later in the week, and ultimately will travel to Oregon next to go head to head with the Ducks.
Pitching in game one was Cal’s Haylei Archer against Washington’s Gabbie Plain for a matchup of two fairly even teams. The game remained a stalemate for the first three innings between the 18-8 Bears team and the 19-5 Washington squad. In the top of the fourth, the Huskies attacked with a runner on first and one out, as Jenn Cummings rocketed a double to the gap.
Kelley Lynch hustled around the bases and flew around third, but Tatum Anzaldo had other plans as she fired the relay throw home to get the runner at the plate.
Cal built off of this momentum with a Makena Smith leadoff bomb in the bottom of the inning, leading to another run by a couple hits, an error and smart baserunning to give the Bears a 2-0 lead.
Washington showed its grit and used the latter half of the game to its advantage, scoring four total runs in the remaining innings to cap off the comeback victory. In game two, Sona Halajian took the pitcher’s circle for Cal. Each team had scored three runs in as many innings, remaining tied for the majority of the game.
With two outs in the bottom of the seventh, Cal’s Acacia Anders sent a drive to deep right field that cleared the fence, resulting in a walk-off home run for the freshman’s second RBI of the game — a true exhibition of home-field heroics.
Halajian started game three as well for the Bears after collecting her 11th win and throwing a complete game the day before. With Washington quickly scoring two runs in the top of the first, Anders responded with a two-run homer to tie the game, solidifying her performance as Pac-12 Softball Freshman of the Week.
Kinsey Fiedler broke the tie for the Huskies with a three-run home run. Smith drove in two runs on a single to bring Cal within striking distance, leading to a two-run scoring play on an error by the opposing pitcher. Cal went on to collect its 20th win of the season, taking the series victory over Washington.
Cal’s series victory featured notable players such as Anders with five hits, two home runs and four RBIs; Smith with six hits, one home run and three RBIs; Anzaldo with seven hits and one RBI; and Halajian with two back-to-back wins in 11 IP with nine Ks.
Cal matched up with Sacramento State for a midweek game to break up the Bears’ Pac-12 matchups. Sacramento State’s Alondra Mejia, Lexie Webb and Lewa Day came out swinging in the latter innings to give their team the lead. Late homers from Cal’s Alexis Bishop and Smith proved to be too little in the attempted comeback, as the team finished the game a run behind at 5-4.
The Bears migrate north to face the Ducks in Eugene for a three-game series of Pac-12 play. The Ducks are staying afloat at 22-4 on the season and 2-1 in conference play, good enough to put them in third place in the Pac-12 softball standings. They have just come off a newly started win streak, taking two out of three from Utah and beating BYU 9-3.
In the last 10 matchups between these teams, Oregon has won nine of them, outscoring Cal 49 to 14.
Oregon will look to their powerful offense consisting of Hanna Delgado, Allee Bunker, KK Humphreys, Vallery Wong and undefeated pitcher Stevie Hansen to lead the effort against the Bears, while Cal will lean on its pitching staff to set the stage for the hot bats at Jane Sanders Stadium.
Catch this exciting Pac-12 matchup along with others all season long on the Pac-12 network.