And that's the season for Cal Softball.
Ground ball and that'll do it. Cal falls 8-0 to No. 6 Alabama to end the NCAA Regional and bring to an end another great season. #GoBears— Cal Softball (@CalSoftball) May 22, 2016
Bears lost 8-0 to host and overall 6th seed Alabama on Sunday. No second game was necessary.
Senior ace Nisa Ontiveros got in trouble right away and was lifted after surrendering two homers and the Bears trailing 3-0. Alabama scored three more in the second inning and never looked back.
With only Ontiveros and outfielder Jasmine Mejia graduating, expect the Bears to build on this experience and be even better next year.
California Golden Bears (33-23-1) vs. Alabama Crimson Tide (48-12)
Where: Rhoads Stadium (Tuscaloosa, AL)
When: 11:30 AM PT (and should the Bears win, game 2 would start at roughly )
On Saturday, Bears split two games to remain alive in the Tuscaloosa Regional. In the winner's game, the Bears actually had an early lead 1-0 on Alabama by scoring in the top of the 1st. Alabama struck back in the 3rd with back to back triples from Haylie McCleney and Chandler Dare. In the 5th, Dare struck again to drive in McCleney again for the final margin.
Key for the Bears' success today would be to keep McCleney and Dare in check.
Littlejohn started the game for the Tide and went 4 innings. Osorio got the save with 3 innings of work where she struck out 7 Bears. We will likely see both of them again, especially should the Bears actually force a deciding winner-take-all game.
For the Golden Bears, senior Nisa Ontiveros has been head coach Diane Ninemire's workhorse this weekend. Nisa, the Pac-12 ERA leader, has been pretty solid, although she did allow a homer to Texas State in the elimination game that the Bears won 4-3 on Saturday night. A clutch two out, two run single by Cal freshman sensation Lindsay Rood was the difference.
In case you missed it, I wrote more about this regional in my preview here.