No. 5 Cal Not Living Up to Ranking After Dropping Three of Five Games at Tourney





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There is no truth in advertising.

Just ask the No. 5 Cal softball team, which travelled to Tempe, Ariz., this weekend to compete at the Fiesta Bowl Tournament.

Dropping three out of five games was certainly no cause for celebration for the Bears.

"This is not a situation Cal softball is used to being in," Bears coach Diane Ninemire said. "We need to get back on track and beat ranked teams."

The Bears recorded victories against Kansas and UNLV, but fell to 4-4 on the season with losses to No. 16 Fresno State, Texas and No. 19 Southwest Texas.

"It's disappointing to not come out with more wins," Ninemire said. "We lost to teams we should have beat and we need to turn it around."

Cal rallied late against Southwest Texas (3-7) Sunday afternoon, but fell just short, losing to the Bobcats, 3-2.

Trailing 3-0 in the bottom of the seventh, the Bears loaded the bases and sent the power-hitting Veronica Nelson to the plate with no outs.

Nelson took one for the team to drive in Cal's first run after getting hit by a pitch. The Bears pulled within a run on Kaleo Eldredge's single to left.

But Southwest Texas retired three straight to hold on for the 3-2 victory.

Cal shut out UNLV (3-3), 5-0, Saturday night for its second victory of the weekend.

Freshman Cassie Bobrow made her collegiate debut for the Bears, striking out five Rebels over seven innings.

"She had a very promising first start," Ninemire said. "Hopefully, she can build on that success."

Cal played small-ball against the Rebels, manufacturing runs with sacrifices and alert baserunning. Chelsea Spencer and Courtney Scott each collected a pair of RBIs in the victory.

"We had opportunities all weekend to score, but we couldn't get people in," said Scott, who collected 5 RBIs. "A couple of my hits just dropped when we needed them to."

The win followed the Bears' 2-1 loss to Texas earlier in the day.

Trailing 1-0 in the fourth, Spencer doubled to bring in Candace Harper and knot the score. But with runners on second and third with no outs, the Longhorns' Cat Osterman struck out two and retired Jessica Pamanian on a liner to the second baseman.

Cal threatened again in the fifth, loading the bases with two outs before Spencer fouled out.

"It was very frustrating having people in scoring position and not being able to bring them in," Ninemire said. "We just had trouble getting timely hits all weekend."

Jennifer Deering (2-1) struck out four and walked two for the Bears, but lost her first game of the season.

"All our pitchers threw well and kept us in games," the catcher Scott said. "We couldn't have asked anything more from them."

Deering notched a win as well, striking out three and walking one as Cal beat Kansas 6-2 Friday afternoon.

The Bears took an early 2-0 lead on Nelson's bomb and Jennifer Bayless' RBI double in the second.

Scott extended Cal's lead to 5-0 in the third with a bases-loaded double.

The Jayhawks scored twice in the fifth, but never threatened the Bears' lead.

Cal's weekend started on a sour note, with a 1-0 loss to No. 16 Fresno State.

The Bears threatened early, loading the bases with one out in the first before Kelly Anderson grounded into an inning-ending double play.

Jocelyn Forest (1-2) surrendered an RBI single to the Bulldogs' Leticia Pacheco in the fifth for the only run of the game.

With the bases loaded in the seventh, Anderson again came to the plate for Cal. A line drive resulted in another inning-ending double play.

"We hit well at times, but it's a different level to do it under pressure," Ninemire said. "We'll just keep working on our hitting and overcome that obstacle."

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