Behind the brilliant pitching of Cal senior Nisa Ontiveros, Golden Bears down rival Stanford 1-0 to take the first two games of the three game series.
STANFORD, Calif. - After striking out 16 Stanford hitters to help the Cal softball team earn a 1-0 victory over its rival, Bears pitcher Nisa Ontiverosdidn't even pause when asked to describe what a game like that meant for someone who has fought so hard to come back from injuries that nearly derailed her career.
"This year, I worked as hard as I could to come back," Ontiveros said. "I've had a lot of support. My family keeps helping me along. Whatever decision I make, they're there. I worked all winter break with my dad. I was just hoping to go out with a bang and I couldn't ask for any more."
Ontiveros will have plenty of opportunities over the next few weeks to add a few more memories but, for one night at least, she produced a game that won't soon be forgotten by a near-capacity crowd at Smith Family Stadium. She allowed just one hit, picked up her fourth win in five days and set a career high in strikeouts for the third consecutive start as the Bears clinched a big series win.
What an impressive outing by Nisa to set a Pac-12 season high in strikeouts in a game. Her complete game shutout (one-hitter) also gives the Bears a 2nd straight win over rival Stanford.
Bears score the lone run of the game in the top of the first. Jazmine Jackson reaches on a single and advanced to third after two ground outs. She scored the run via a wild pitch to put the Bears ahead for good.
Cal and Stanford wrap up this 3-game series on Sunday night at 7 pm PT on the Pac-12 Networks. Bears will look for the sweep to keep Stanford winless in Pac-12 play.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
Where: Stanford, CA
When: 7 pm PT
TV: Pac-12 Bay Area
Bears had an easy win 10-1 on Friday night over the Stanford Cardinal, an once proud program that is still recovering from team infighting (enjoy the "Shadenfurd", Cal fans). Meanwhile, the Golden Bears have shown that this year's squad is even better than the one from last year, that made it to the NCAA postseason.
Senior RHP Nisa Ontiveros has stepped up her game to be a real dominant pitcher - lead the Pac in ERA and had a career best 13 strikeouts on Friday (remember that they only play 7 innings in softball).
The Cal top of the lineup has also been nearly impossible to keep off, led by Jazmine Jackson, Kylie Reed, and Lindsay Rood. Cleanup hitting catcher Annie Aldrete picked up 4 RBI's on Friday night.
I don't think I am going out on a limb to say that the Bears are the clear favorites in this game.