Sunday Afternoon Update: Trying to rest ace Zoe Conley, Golden Bears fell behind 6-0 to Auburn in Top 1st (Bears were the “home” team) and could not recover.
The 2017 season comes to an end after the 8-2 loss to Auburn.
Bears will miss their 7 seniors but with the return of Jazmyn Jackson and Lindsay Rood in the lineup and ace Zoe Conley in the circle among other mainstays, Golden Bears will look to build on this year.
Sunday Morning Update: Bear tagged on an additional run via a Kolbie Pettis homer. Zoe Conley tossed the first 1.2 innings of the day, but it was senior Stephnie Trzcinski (who started the game yesterday) relieving senior Katie Sutherland-Finch with the go-ahead run at the plate for the Golden Bears to win the elimination game 5-3 over Notre Dame. The game ended on a liner back to Trzcinski who dropped the ball but turned a 1-5-4 double play.
Bears will take on host Auburn in the first game at around 9:30 AM PT. Cal would need two more wins today (weather permitting) to extend the season.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
Saturday Night Update: Due to rain/thunder, the game against Notre Dame has been suspended in top 5, right after the Bears have taken a 4-3 lead (and have the bases loaded with two outs). Notre Dame hit a three-run homer in this game to take a brief lead. Otherwise, senior Stephanie Trzcinski is pitching fairly well to give ace Zoe Conley some much needed rest (after going 147 pitches earlier today).
If the weather allows the game to be continue on Sunday (or even Monday), Bears will try to finish off this elimination game to play Auburn in the Regional Final. For the Bears to advance to the Super Regional, they would likely need to finish off this win AND win twice over Auburn ALL ON THE SAME DAY.
It’s certainly not an easy task, but still plausible.
Well, that was disappointing. Golden Bears twice had the lead against Auburn Tigers but cannot hold on (lost 2nd lead on a controversial call at the plate that ESPN’s replay showed otherwise).
A failed squeeze attempt in Top 9 and allowing ace Zoe Conley to throw 140+ pitches (she allowed 4 singles in that fateful Bottom 9) lead to a 4-3 win by the Auburn Tigers.
Golden Bears will wait the winner between Notre Dame and ETSU at the 3rd game of today, scheduled for 2pm PT but likely to be later due to this first one going long. Should the Bears survive today, they will need to beat Auburn twice on Sunday (if weather allows game to be played).
After a relatively easy 6-2 victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish on Friday, California Golden Bears face an order of magnitude tougher task on Saturday morning when they play host Auburn Tigers, last year’s NCAA runner-ups.
On Friday, after some early defensive hiccups, Cal Bears used their speed (numerous key stolen bases) and power (Jazmyn Jackson with only her 3rd homer of the year) to back a very strong outing by ace Zoe Conley (complete game, 0 earned runs, 7 K, and about 100 pitches thrown).
As expected, Auburn Tigers had an even easier game in downing East Tennessee State Bucs by an 11-0 score.
Here is what I wrote about Auburn yesterday:
Host Auburn Tigers are the 7th seed in the tournament but 3rd in the RPI. They are the national runner ups from an year ago and finished 2nd in the extremely tough SEC this year (behind Florida) where all 13 teams made the postseason.
Auburn is a fairly loaded team. They hit 47 homers while allowing just 16. The entire lineup up and down is very solid.
However, the key for their success (and for another long postseason run) is a duo of aces inside the circle. Kaylee Carlson has an ERA of 1.14 to go with a 26-4 record; Carlson has 110 K’s in 190.1 innings. Makayla Martin is also very good with an ERA of 1.99 and an 18-5 record; she has 94 K’s in 137.1 innings.
On Friday, Auburn scored 10 runs in the 4th inning, key hit was catcher Carlee Wallace’s 3-run double, to mercy rule the ETSU Bucs in just 5 innings. Tigers’ 2nd best pitcher Makayla Martin pitched a complete game, one hitter. Auburn is likely saving ace Carlson for this Cal game on Saturday.
In the 1-0 game on Saturday morning, both Cal Bears and Auburn Tigers will be looking to not only make the Regional Final on Sunday but also be in the position to only need one win on Sunday to advance to the Super Regional. The loser of this game will need to play the winner of the 2nd game between Notre Dame and ETSU at 2pm PT (basically immediately after the conclusion of the 2nd game) for the 2nd spot in the Regional Final.
In this double elimination format, the team that made the Regional Final via the loser’s bracket would need to win twice on Sunday to take the Regional.
SPECIAL NOTE: The double elimination format is only true IF the NCAA Regional is completed. Apparently rain is in the forecast for Sunday at 100% and then 90% for Monday. There is a chance that this Regional will not be completed. In that special case, essentially the winner of this 1-0 game will advance.
For more information on the rules in this circumstance, you can read this post. It would be very disappointing for the team that makes the final via the loser bracket to not have the chance to play, if Sunday is rained out.
Game 3: Cal Softball (31-22) vs. Auburn Tigers (47-10)
Where: Jane B. Moore Field (Auburn, AL)
When: 9 AM PT
TV: ESPN2/ESPNU (TBD)
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!