That is NOT how you want the season to end.
A wild pitch with the bases loaded allowed the Northwestern Wildcats’ winning run to score in the bottom of the 7th with two outs. Bears entered the bottom of the 7th with a 3-1 lead but made a couple of defensive infield miscues under pressure, before a drive off the wall by Northwestern’s Rachel Lewis tied the game up.
Zoe Conley went the distance for the Golden Bears in this one after Kamalani Dung pitched the entirety of the Harvard game. Conley was very good in this one. Northwestern scored the first (unearned) run of the game via a pass ball. It took awhile (after a runner thrown out at home plate and a rally nixed by being called for a bunt outside the batter’s box had cut short previous scoring chances), but the Golden Bears were finally able to break through in the top of the 6th to take the lead. Bears took advantage of 10-12 illegal pitches called on the Wildcats, particularly in the 6th to get on base. Sparacino had the go ahead two-out single. Bears added another run in the top of the 7th when Rood hit a triple off the wall and scored on the misplay by the centerfielder.
Alas, that was not enough as the pressure got to the Cal defense in the bottom of the 7th.
Bears will miss the seniors (Jackson, Pettis, Pogue, and pitcher Cullen), but they should be back in the postseason (and ranked in the top 25) again next year.
Snapping a 7 game losing streak (granted, 6 of them came against the arguably two best teams in college softball in 2018 in UCLA and Oregon and the last one came in OT), California Golden Bears defeated Harvard 10-1 in 5 innings via the run-rule to advance to Saturday’s 2nd elimination game.
Northwestern Wildcats were humbled by host Georgia early in the day. Today’s rematch of yesterday’s 3-2 (8 innings) thriller that went to Northwestern would decide who gets to face host Georgia Bulldogs in the Regional final tomorrow. The winner of this 2nd elimination game would need to beat Georgia twice tomorrow to get to the Super Regional.
Cal bats finally came alive against Harvard today. Bears scored 2 runs per inning for all 5 innings of this game. Freshman Mikalay Coehlo got the Bears on the board with a two-run bomb in the top of the first. Kamalani Dung went the distance while allowing just one run.
Northwestern had a bunch of issues on the Friday match with being called for illegal pitches a surprisingly common one. Golden Bears would need to take advantage of any further miscues like that.
The Cal-Northwestern rematch will start at around 3:40 pm PT (30 minutes after the conclusion of the Cal-Harvard win) on the WatchESPN app.
ROLL ON YOU BEARS!
This is the post for Cal Softball Saturday action in the Athens, Georgia Regional. Hopefully, the Golden Bears’ 2018 season will not end today.
The 2018 postseason did not begin the way that they wanted for the Cal Bears on Friday. Against the fighting Meghan Markles AKA the alma mater for the bride of the Royal Wedding today, Northwestern, the Cal Bears blew a golden opportunity to walk off in the bottom of the 7th (gifted by a Bear reaching via an illegal pitch, a bad decision by a Wildcat to try and fail in getting the lead Cal runner in a force out) when they could not capitalize on a bases loaded, one out situation. Bradie Fillmore only managed a week infield ground out (nearly an infield fly situation), and Kolbie Pattis flew out to deep right on a potential ball 4 on a full count to end the threat. Wildcats won in the 8th by scoring a run to win 3-2.
Northwestern scored first on Friday to go up 2-0 but the Bears answered right away to equalize at 2, using the speed of Lindsay Rood and Jazymyn Jackson. Jackson was driven in by freshman Mikayla Coehlo who went 3 for 3 in this game. While Kamalani Dung started the game for the Bears, Zoe Conley took over in after 3.2 innings and went the distance. The eventual winning run reached Top 8 on a double that went in and out of the glove of Fillmore.
The Bears can’t dwell too much on the past, instead they will concentrate on their first elimination game on Saturday against Harvard at 11:30 AM PT. The game start time was moved up due to the potential threat of rain (that’s one way to prolong the season).
Harvard lost to host Georgia by a 8-0 (5 innings run-rule) result. The winner between the Bears and the Crimson will play the loser between Georgia and Northwestern in the 2nd elimination of Saturday (scheduled for 2 pm PT) for the right to play the winner in Sunday’s Regional Final. All of the action will be on the ESPN channels (TBD) and also the WatchESPN app/website.