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Cal Softball: Are They Not Merciful?

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This is your open thread for the tape-delayed broadcast of Cal softball vs. Stanfurd on FSN at 1:30 PM. The result should be known to most of you by now, but in case it isn't, don't spoil it for anyone until it ends.

With the non-conference schedule done, it's time to look at the most dominant Cal team that doesn't wear short shorts and fight in the mud (at least as far as I know). 26-1 headed into Pac-12 season, #2 in the nation behind undefeated Alabama. Looking good so far Bears.

Cal softball is wrecking it. Hannibal ravaged the Republic in a similar fashion as the mashers on the Bears, who have been shutting teams down with pitching, hitting, fielding, whatever which way is needed to win softball games. Let us quickly go down the list of the conquered since the opening week of the season.

Louisville Slugger Desert Classic - Las Vegas

To the strip we go, but there was no partying around for these Bears on the diamond.

February 17th, DePaul, 2-0. Valerie Arioto knocks in two solo home runs and throws a two-hitter. She's one of the best softballers on the planet, so she does things like that every now and then.

February 18th, San Jose State, 7-0. Jolene Henderson strikes out 13, Jamia Reid got on base three times, Arioto piled up four RBIs and another home run.

February 18th, UC Riverside, 10-0 (5th inning). Arioto puts up a three run home run, Cheynne Cordes adds a three run homer of her own, and Danielle Henderson chips in a solo shot. Cal's six runs in the second inning ended up invoking mercy after five innings of nothing from Riverside.

February 19th, #25 LSU, 14-3.
Cal's stiffest test of the trip went something like this.

RT @nikkiowens72 What happens when you talk crap to our team? We beat you by eleven runs.

Jace Williams was more diplomatic.

"A rooster crows only when it sees the light. Put him in the dark & he'll never crow. I have seen the light & I'm crowing." -Muhammad Ali

Williams had an early double to put two runs home then homered to bring three home in the fifth, Breana Kostreba had added four RBIs, two coming off a double in the top of the fourth, and J. Henderson brought some power with a two run homer of her own.

Cathedral City Classic - Cathedral City, CA

February 24th, Fordham, 5-0 win. Arioto allowed two hits, strikes out nine, while Frani Echavarria and Jamia Reid combine for five hits on seven at-bats and Jolene put up a walk and a single. Kostreba and D. Henderson added solo shots.

February 25th, New Mexico State, 2-0 win. Henderson allowed three hits, strikes out 11. Kostreba had a sac fly to bring in Britt Vonk in the first, and Cordes had a single to bring in Arioto in the third.

February 25th, Cal Poly, 4-1 win. Cal Poly took a 1-0 lead after one inning. It lasted all of three Cal batters before Arioto dinged in a two run shot. Arioto had a four-hitter.

February 26th, Cal State Northridge, 7-0 win. Arianna Erceg pitched the first two innings before J. Henderson came in and allowed one hit in five innings. It was still scoreless in the bottom of the fifth before Vonk singled in Ashley Decker. The Bears then exploded for six runs in the fifth, with Danielle putting up her fifth home run of the season.

DeMarini Invitational - Fullerton, CA

March 2nd, FIU, 8-1 win. Arioto gave up three hits and struck out seven. Arioto and D. Henderson brought the power with two RBIs each, and Williams, Cordes and Ziegenhirt all had an RBI.

March 2nd, Southern Miss, 8-0 win (mercy rule after five innings). A five run second inning was the key. Ashley Decker knocked in a three run homer and three other Bears had RBIs. Henderson needed only 53 pitches in four innings of relief work.

March 3rd, East Carolina, 11-3 win (mercy rule after five innings). Cal stoked out to an early 11-0 lead. Arioto struck out 11, and Arioto, Williams, Kostreba and Cordes all accumulated multiple RBIs.

March 3rd, Northwestern, 5-1 win. J. Henderson drives in two RBIs and struck out seven. Cordes and Williams are responsible for the rest.

March 7th, Home vs. UC Davis, 11-3 win (mercy rule after six innings). Kostreba starts the game with a grand slam with one out. Victoria Jones ends it with a three-run walkoff mercy homer.

Bayer CropScience Classic - Fresno, CA

March 10th, San Diego State, 12-0 win (mercy rule after five innings). Eight run second innings tend to make things easy on everyone.

March 10th, Butler, 14-1 win (mercy rule after five innings). No Brad Stevens to save these Bulldogs. Hits for everyone except Butler, who Arioto shut down.

March 11th, Purdue, 9-1 win (mercy rule after six innings). Vonk and Victoria Jones each knocked in two RBIs; J. Reid, Williams, D. Henderson each knocked in an RBI, and Jolene did her thing: 117 pitches, but no earned runs.

March 11th, at Fresno State, 8-5 win. A close game only on paper; it was 8-1 after seven innings before Fresno made a "too little, too late" rally. Kostreba and Cordes drove in three runs each.

Hawaii Spring Fling - Honolulu

March 15th, vs. No. 6 Texas. Arioto had a two run homer and struck out ten, Echivarria and Vonk had two RBI-outings, and Henderson had a solid relief apperance.

March 15th, vs. No. 19 Hawaii, 3-1 loss in ten innings, see below for further details.

March 16th, vs. Marist, 1-0 win. Arioto (four innings) and Henderson (three innings) tag-teamed for the win and save once more, and Vonk drove in the lone run.

March 17th, vs. Winthrop, 7-1 win. Cordes and Kostreba combined for five RBIs and Henderson and Arianna Erceg combined to strike out eight.

March 20th, Home vs. Princeton, 8-0 win in 5 innings. Another walk-off homer to mercy rule it. Arioto, Henderson, and Cordes all rocked in homers, with Cordes's last hit being the fateful one.

So, to recap: The Bears have mercied nine of their opponents, and have won their only two home games via walk-off mercy rule home runs.

The softballers have lost one game this season. To Hawaii, on the road, in the second game of a double-header on Thursday night, on the road in Hawaii against Hawaii, on a walk-off home run in the tenth inning against a pitcher (Jolene) that had just come off a one-inning relief appearance earlier that day and was on her 123rd pitch of the game. And that was after Cal took the lead in the top of the tenth on a fielder's choice! So the Bears barely lost one game and it was by the skin of their teeth, and that's the lowest part of their season.

This is a pretty good season.

Next up:

#9 Furd, on the Farm (Fri at 7, Sat at 1, Sun at noon). Time to Occupy Palo Alto once again.