Bears Welcome UC Davis in 2008 Home Finale

Photo: Pitcher Marissa Drewrey has carried the load for Cal in 2008, logging a 24-13 record while posting impressive numbers across the board, including a 1.79 ERA and 248 K's.
Aditya Rohilla/File
Pitcher Marissa Drewrey has carried the load for Cal in 2008, logging a 24-13 record while posting impressive numbers across the board, including a 1.79 ERA and 248 K's.





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The No. 21 Cal softball team is running out of opportunities to cash in easy victories. And with more tough Pac-10 opponents breathing down its neck, today's 3 p.m. game against UC Davis at Levine-Fricke Field may be its best shot to do so.

The Bears are 7-0 all-time against the Aggies, including a 14-6 victory last season, so UC Davis will resemble the closest thing to a break in the middle of a grueling conference schedule.

Cal is coming off a 3-1 win against No. 22 Washington, but it was only the second victory in the team's last six games, which included losses to No. 4 UCLA and No. 8 Stanford.

While the Bears might have a lighter load to deal with against the Aggies, it's all the more reason that the team won't be taking any chances.

"We're not overlooking Davis at all," junior Gina Leomiti said. "We don't take any team lighter than any other."

The game against UC Davis will also be the final home game of the season for Cal and the final home game ever for seniors Julie Meyer, Erika Racklin, and Katie Vickers.

The three were honored during Sunday's game against the Huskies, the final conference game of their careers, and now will get a chance to wave goodbye to the field they have grown accustomed to over the past four years.

"It's their last time playing on our field," Leomiti said. "Last weekend it was great that we got the win for them, and hopefully we can go out and get the win (today)."

Still, the game will by no means have a memorial feel to it.

After Wednesday, the Bears will head north to face Oregon and Oregon State, followed by a trip to the desert to take on No. 2 Arizona State and No. 12 Arizona.

All four teams will present a tough challenge for Cal, and the team knows that it is important to keep its game in peak shape against the Aggies.

"We need this win so we can go into the other games with some confidence," Leomiti said. "We're kind of struggling in the Pac-10 right now, but hopefully we can get this win and keep it going for the second half of the Pac-10 season."

The Bears' attitude doesn't bode well for UC Davis, which hasn't defeated a ranked team all season. The Aggies have a worse batting average, fielding percentage and ERA than their opponents' and have only one player batting above .300.

But despite rather unimpressive statistics, UC Davis has put up a fight against some of the top teams in the Pac-10 and are playing relatively solid ball as of late, taking two out of three from both UC Santa Barbara and UC Riverside.

But dealing with Cal will be a whole different challenge. In particular, the Bears' pitching staff has come into form recently with all three pitchers-Marissa Drewrey, Valerie Arioto and Brittany LaRosa-looking sharp in Sunday's win.

"The coaches are excited about all three pitchers contributing," Leomiti said. "I think we'll be continuing that pattern."

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Contact Jesse Durkin at [email protected]



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