The No. 4 Cal Bears softball team split a doubleheader with No. 3 Stanford on Saturday in Pacific-10 Conference action in front of a standing room only crowd of 450 at Levine-Fricke Field. The Bears dropped the first game 5-4, but came back to shutout the Cardinal in game two, 1-0.
Cal, which dropped Friday’s game between the two teams 5-4, is now 44-6 overall and 3-5 in the Pac-10, while Stanford is 38-5-1 and 7-2 in conference play.
In Game 1, the Cardinal got on the board in the first inning with an unearned run after an error by senior Paige Bowie at shortstop, giving Stanford an early 1-0 lead.
The third was another inning where the Cardinal was able to capitalize on a Cal error. Robin Walker’s drive to right field was dropped, and Walker ended up on second. Jessica Mendoza followed with her second single of the game. With runners on second and third with two outs, Kira Ching drove a line drive double to centerfield, scoring both Walker and Mendoza for a 3-0 Cardinal lead.
The Bears answered in the bottom of the third with a single run. Kristen Morley led off the inning with a single and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt. Then Candace Harper doubled off the left centerfield wall for Cal’s first run of the game.
In the bottom of the fourth, Stanford pitcher Dana Sorensen ran into some trouble. A walk and back-to-back singles left the Bears with the bases loaded and one out. Morley drew a walk, which scored Courtney Scott from third and chased Sorensen.
Cal still had the bases loaded with one out, but Stanford relief pitcher Tori Nyberg forced two ground balls getting the Cardinal out of the jam.
In the top of the sixth, Stanford extended its lead on Jenni Shideler’s two-run homer.
All five of Stanford’s runs were unearned, due to three Cal errors.
Cal cut the lead to 5-4 in the bottom of the sixth. The Bears strung together four singles, which chased Nyberg. Jaime Forman-Lau came on in relief and got out of the inning with a fly out.
Forman-Lau earned her fourth save of the year. Nyberg, who went 2 1/3 innings picked up the win to improve to 4-0.
Cal’s Nicole DiSalvio went the distance in the circle, giving up five runs on six hits. She struck out four in falling to 16-2.
The second game was scoreless until the bottom of the fifth. Scott drew a two-out walk and then Mikella Pedretti and Amber Phillips hit back-to-back singles for the only run of the game.
The Cardinal’s only chance came in the fourth inning when Sarah Beeson’s hard ground ball was missed by sophomore Eryn Manahan at second and Ching followed with a double off the left centerfield wall. But Cal junior hurler Jocelyn Forest struck out the next two batters to strand the runners at second and third.
For Cal, Forest pitched a one-hitter with 13 strikeouts. She improves to 23-4 on the year. LeCocq pitched 5 1/3 innings, giving up just three hits and one run. She took the loss to fall to 11-4.
The Bears continue Pac-10 play on the road this week when they travel to No. 8 Arizona State for a single game on Friday and a pair of games at No. 2 Arizona.