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Golden Nuggets: Semien Make Big Splash at Spring Training

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The former Golden Bear Marcus Semien makes a big move to secure a starting role for the Oakland Athletics

Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports

Baseball

Highlighted by a three-run homer by senior first baseman Chris Paul in the first inning, Cal baseball shut out San Francisco, 11-0, Wednesday evening at Evans Diamond. With the victory, the Golden Bears improved to 9-3 on the season and have now won eight of their last nine games.

Women's Golf

Junior Carly Childs recorded the tournament's only ace and sophomore Lucia Gutierrez earned her first top 20 finish of the season as California concluded competition at the Bruin Wave Invitational held at the par-72 El Caballero Country Club in Tarzana.

Rugby

The Golden Bears travel to Corvallis, Ore., to face Oregon State at noon Saturday, March 7, on Peavy Field, where California aims to secure its third straight PAC Rugby Conference title in 15s.

Sand Volleyball

Starting A New Era - Again

While Cal made history last year by playing the first season of the program, the second year marks another new era as the Bears play their first season with primarily sand-only student-athletes. Last season's team was made up of almost entirely student-athletes from Cal's indoor team. This year, the Bears brought in their first-ever recruiting class, a group featuring five freshmen and a transfer.

Women's Gymnastics

Inside the Lair - Double Impact: Williams Shines For Cal, Jamaica

By Jonathan Okanes, Cal Athletic Communications

BERKELEY - Marlene Hylton-Williams understands her daughter may eat something other than Jamaican food.

It just isn't happening inside the confines of their family's home in Randallstown, MD.

Hylton-Williams and her husband, Tony, hail from Kingston, Jamaica, and Marlene owns a local Jamaican grocery store. They are proud of their culture - something that has been imparted on their kids, including Cal freshman gymnast Toni-Ann Williams.

Now that she is in Berkeley, Toni-Ann is getting a wider variety of food options. And even while growing up, she may have had non-Jamaican food when she had meals outside the family home.

But one thing was clear - if you wanted to eat at the Williams house, you were going to have Jamaican food.

"If it's coming from me, it's Jamaican food," Marlene said.

Swimming & Diving

For the Women's Program, Golden Bears are seeded first in the country in eight different events - five individual races and three relays - and 16 total members of the team have earned invitations to the NCAA Women's Swimming & Diving Championships to be held March 19-21 in Greensboro, N.C.

Cal ranks No. 1 in the nation in the ...

500-yard freestyle - Cierra Runge (4:31.90)
200-yard individual medley - Elizabeth Pelton (1:52.93)
200-yard freestyle - Missy Franklin (1:41.09)
1650-yard freestyle - Cierra Runge (15:40.17)
200-yard backstroke - Elizabeth Pelton (1:49.00)

The Cal Men's Swimming and Diving team started the 2015 Pac-12 Championships in fine fashion, capturing the opening event, the 200 medley relay and was third in the 800 free relay during the opening night's competition.

Lacrosse

Despite erasing a five-goal deficit in the first half, the California lacrosse team fell to Michigan, 16-14, Tuesday night at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium. Gaby Christman paced the Golden Bears (1-2) with four goals.

Coaches Corner With Megan Takacs

Cal lacrosse's career and season leader in goals, as well as the program's first All-American, Megan Takacs returned to Berkeley this season to serve as an assistant coach under first-year head coach Brooke Eubanks. Also a competitor for the Canadian National team, Takacs is spending her time at Kabam Field at California Memorial Stadium on the sidelines now, helping guide the current Golden Bears to success. CalBears.com had a chance to sit down with Takacs and discuss her return to Berkeley.

CalBears.com: How does it feel to be back at Cal?

Megan Takacs: I love being back at Cal, and am thrilled to be starting my coaching career at my alma mater. I always joke with one of my old teammates, Carter Ellerman, that Berkeley is our "happy place" because going to Cal was four of the best years of my life. Playing on a Division I lacrosse team and going to one of the best schools in the world was an amazing experience.

CB: What has it been like from the other side as a coach?

MT: It was adjustment going from recently being coached to coaching. I have learned so much about "the other side" from both Brooke and Kacie. I have already gained way more knowledge about the game itself than I had ever imagined. It has been a great experience thus far and I am excited to see where this team goes this year.

Men's Tennis

California hits the road to play at San Diego State on Thursday and in the 126th annual Pacific Coast Doubles Championship from Thursday through Sunday in La Jolla, California. Ranked 22nd, the Golden Bears take a 9-3 record into the nonconference match with the 60th-ranked Aztecs (5-4) at the Aztec Tennis Center.

Women's Tennis

Seventh-ranked California begins its Pac-12 Conference season this week with dual matches against Colorado and Utah. The Golden Bears - who have a 7-2 record after a nonconference win over then-No. 7 Stanford - host the Buffaloes (9-2, 0-0 Pac-12) at 1:30 p.m. on Friday and the Utes (3-6, 0-0 Pac-12) at noon on Saturday at the Hellman Tennis Complex.

Men's Soccer

Norwegian Premier League club Viking FK announced this week that they have agreed to terms with former California Golden Bears defender A.J. Soares. The California native was originally drafted sixth overall by Major League Soccer's New England Revolution in the 2011 SuperDraft and he has spent the first four years of his professional career with the Revolution.

Men's Basketball

Coming off a 73-56 victory over Oregon State on Senior Day at Haas Pavilion on Sunday, California heads to the desert for the final week of the regular season. The Golden Bears will travel to Tucson, Ariz. to face No. 5/6 Arizona on Thursday (March 5) at 6 p.m. PT at the McKale Center.

Women's Basketball

Reshanda Gray became the second Golden Bear to win Pac-12 Player of the Year honors when the conference coaches selected the California senior for the league's top honor, the Pac-12 announced Tuesday.

Awards season is gearing underway, and the first major one to come out Tuesday was the announcement that California senior Brittany Boyd has been named one of 10 semifinalists for the Naismith Trophy National Women's College Player of the Year honor.

California carries the No. 4 seed as the Bears begin their quest for a Pac-12 Tournament championship this week at KeyArena in Seattle. Cal will begin tournament play Friday at 8:30 p.m. against the winner of Thursday's Washington-Utah opening round game.

Spring Training

Spring Observations: The legend of Marcus Semien grows

1. Marcus Semien makes his presence known.

Semien didn't hit just one home run in his first look as the Athletics starting shortstop, but two, effectively ending whatever competition existed there before it even began. OK, so maybe he goes hitless the rest of spring training and makes us wonder what the hype was all about, but given that he's a breakout for Al Melchior and a sleeper for me, I'm only emboldened by the performance.

A's shortstop Marcus Semien has a blast against the Giants

MESA, Ariz. -- Manager Bob Melvin has said Marcus Semien is going to get every chance to make the A's as the team's starting shortstop.

Based on Game 1 of the Cactus League, Semien may not need all that many chances.

The shortstop from Berkeley homered off Giants World Series hero Madison Bumgarner in the first inning with a man on, then added an RBI single and a solo homer to lead the A's past San Francisco 9-4 on Tuesday in the first game played at the refurbished Hohokam Stadium.

"To come back from 0-2 counts a couple of times and put good swings together, that's cool,'' Semien said. "And it was cool to face Bumgarner for the first time and see what kind of stuff he has."