LEXINGTON, Ky. - With sophomore Jolene Henderson pitching a one-hitter in the circle, all the No. 7-seeded California softball team needed was a solo shot by Frani Echavarriato get a 1-0 victory over Kentucky on Saturday afternoon. The Golden Bears outhit the Wildcats, 6-1, en route to their Lexington Super Regional opening win.
In front of a UK Softball Complex record 1,717 fans, Jolene Henderson pitched the one-hitter to improve to 38-7 overall and 4-0 in the 2011 NCAA Tournament. Coming into the game, Henderson - the best pitcher in the country in terms of ERA - was tied for second in the country with 16 shutouts, which she upped to 17 on Saturday.
Cal gets its first Super Regional win since 2006 and its first-ever Super Regional win over an SEC team. The Wildcats and Bears square off at noon on Sunday for a ticket to the Women's College World Series. UK will have to beat Cal twice to advance to the glorious Oklahoma City.
Game two is tomorrow at 10 AM PST. If Cal wins, there is no need for a 3rd game. However, if Kentucky wins, then they play again tomorrow afternoon. Keep it locked here for all the weekend's softball action. GO BEARS!
After a week of waiting, now the fun begins. Jolene Henderson, Britt Vonk, Jace Williams and the rest of Cal's softball superstars must once again travel to the state of Kentucky, this time to face the Wildcats. Kentucky finished their season 39-14, with the 6th best record in the always tough SEC. If the Bears were at home they would likely be solid favorites, but there are no guarantees away from Strawberry Canyon. But the Bears have been road warriors in the playoffs for years, and the prize provides plenty of motivation: A trip to Oklahoma City for the Softball World Series. Go Bears!