Cal Splits Weekend Series, Earns Trip to Florida

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Washington's Danielle Lawrie thought she had looked Cal softball's Jamia Reid back to third base.

She was wrong.

After fielding a bunt from Bears shortstop Shannon Thomas, the Huskies' pitcher checked back toward third and then threw the ball over to first.

But as soon as the Lawrie turned her back on Reid, the Pac-10's stolen base leader took off for home.

That quick lapse in judgment by Lawrie turned out to be the difference maker on Friday afternoon at Husky Softball Stadium, where Washington took the 1-0 loss to Cal.

"It felt good to know that everyone is beatable, even with a pitcher like that," pitcher Marissa Drewrey said. "They needed the win, and we took it from them."

The loss officially took the Huskies (41-10, 14-7 in the Pac-10) out of the race for the Pac-10 crown, and they made the Bears pay for it in their rematch on Saturday.

Lawrie struck out five of the first six batters she faced and unlike Friday's game, her offense provided some much needed run support.

After being stifled by a 100-percent healthy Drewrey the day before, the Washington batters stacked up an insurmountable 11-run lead in the first three innings against Valerie Arioto.

The Cal pitcher faced 11 Husky hitters in the bottom of the first inning, spurred by an error, two illegal pitches, a passed ball and a wild pitch, which added up to six runs.

But Washington was not done with Arioto yet, blasting back-to-back home runs with two outs in the second. Only to follow it up with the last of their scoring with three in the third.

In the fourth, Elia Reid made Lawrie pay for her only two walks of the game, as she took the 0-2 pitch deep for a three-run shot. The Bears (35-18, 10-10) failed to put any more runs on the board and the game was stopped in the middle of the fifth due to the run-rule at 11-3.

"It hurts to get run-ruled," Drewrey said. "But we always play better in the post-season. We have already played the best and we have some wins over top teams, so we know what it's going to take."

With Friday's win over the Huskies, Cal now holds five combined wins over No. 2 Stanford, No. 3 UCLA and No. 4 Washington.

When the postseason begins on Friday, May 15 at 2 p.m. in Tallahassee, Fla., against Mississippi State (28-26, the Bears won't have to worry about playing a team that is better than any other Pac-10 competition.

And if having seen the best isn't a good enough prerequisite for playoff success, Drewrey offered her own theory as to why her team will make it to the Women's College World Series.

"My freshman year we made regionals, and last year we made it to super regionals," she said. "So it only makes sense that we are going to make it a step further this year."

Tags: CAL SOFTBALL, DIANE NINEMIRE


Contact Joseph Cannon at [email protected]



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