It wasn't as dominating as so many of Cal's wins have been this year, but it counts just the same. With today's 2-0 win over Washington, the Bears sweep their way back to Oklahoma City for the College World Series.
For the first few innings Washington was controlling the game. Cal's hitters were pressing and getting set down quickly, and the Huskies had base runners all over the place. But thanks to some sparkling defense UW was never able to push any runs across and the score remained knotted at 0-0. Jamia Reid's sliding, run-robbing catch in left looms large as the biggest play of the game, but Cal's defense was superb all around.
It stayed scoreless until 9th hitter Cheyenne Cordes blasted a pitch over the scoreboard in left field with a runner on base in the 5th. The Bears hadn't even earned a hit until Breana Kostreba lined a single to left to lead off the 5th. Elia Reid came into run for her and scored on Cheyenne's blast to give Jolene all of the runs she would need.
Jolene started the game much shakier than usual, although that was largely due to an unusually thin strike zone. For a pitcher like Jolene that lives on the corners, the tiny zone resulted in four walks in the first two innings. But then the zone inexplicably grew larger, and it was lights out for Washington the rest of the way. Just another complete game, nine strikeout shut out. Ho-hum.
The Bears are headed back to OKC, and they'll face
either LSU or Missouri on Thursday at 12:30 PT. This season is long from over, and it's only getting tougher. Methinks the Bears are up to the challenge.