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Sports shorts

Saturday April 20, 2002

Cal softball upsets No. 6 ASU 

No. 8 Cal matched its conference win total from 2001 after just 10 league games with a 3-2 win over No. 6 Arizona State Friday afternoon at Levine-Fricke Field. 

Cal (40-14, 6-4 Pac-10) started off things early, in the bottom half of the first inning. Freshman Kaleo Eldredge reached on an error by Missy Hixon and was moved to second on junior Kristen Morley’s team and conference-leading 20th sacrifice bunt of the season. Senior Candace Harper then doubled to left center to give the Bears a 1-0 lead.  

In the second inning, the Sun Devils (35-11, 5-4 Pac-10) surrendered two runs on three fielding errors. Freshman Jessica Vernaglia led off with a bouncer to the pitcher, but Erica Beach threw the ball wide to first allowing Vernaglia to reach safely. After a Kristen Bayless sacrifice bunt that moved Vernaglia to second, Eldredge singled to right and advanced to second on a wild throw to first by right fielder Kirsten Voak, bringing home Vernaglia from second.  

The third and final run came on an awkward play, as Morley laid down a bunt single. She got caught in a pickle trying to attempt second base, but advanced as Hixon dropped the ball on an exchange for her second miscue of the contest. Morley reached second, while Eldredge rounded third to score.  

ASU charged back in the top of the fourth as Kara Brun smashed a solo homer, her team-leading seventh of the year, over the centerfield fence. With two outs, Beach drew a walk and Nichole Thompson hit a RBI double to left center to bring in pinch runner Amber Turner.  

Junior Jen Deering collected her 12 win of the season and has won the last 10 of her 11 decisions. She went four innings, striking out four, walking three, while scattering two hits. Freshman Kelly Anderson came on in the fifth and pitched three shutout innings. She fell into a bases loaded jam with two outs in the sixth inning, but struck out Adriana Garcia to come out unscathed. 

The win was Cal’s sixth win over a ranked opponent. The Bears now brace for top-ranked Arizona as the Wildcats come in for a two-game set, Saturday at 2 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m.  

Men’s tennis avenges USC loss 

The No. 19 Cal men’s tennis team avenged a 4-3 loss to USC three weeks ago, upsetting the 13th-ranked Trojans (18-6, 4-2 Pac-10) 5-1 Friday afternoon at the Hellman Tennis Center.  

By winning two of the three doubles matches, the Golden Bears (17-6, 4-2 Pac-10) took an early 1-0 lead. In only their second match together, Ben Miles and Conor Niland were the first team off the court, winning their match 8-6 on the second court. Clinching the doubles point on the first court, the No. 26-ranked team of John Paul Fruttero and Robert Kowalczyk upset the No. 7 team of Ryan Moore and Nick Rainey, 8-6.  

Using the momentum from the doubles matches, Cal took the first set in five of the six singles matches. Closing out his match first, Wayne Wong routed USC’s Daniel Langre on court five, 6-2, 6-1. Next was Fruttero, playing on court one. Coming off an upset of the No. 1 ranked player in the country on Monday, Fruttero continued his dominating play by beating the Trojan’s Andrew Park, 6-3, 6-3.  

With a 3-0 lead, the Bears needed only one of the remaining four matches for a victory. Coming through to secure the upset was freshman Conor Niland. After losing the first set, Niland stormed back to win the next two in a convincing fashion, defeating Prakash Armitraj, 4-6, 6-0, 6-2. With the match already decided, Robert Kowalczyk’s match with Nick Rainey on court four was suspended, while Mik Ledvonova gutted out a long match on court six, prevailing 6-0, 4-6, 6-4. The only loss of the day for Cal came on court two where Balazs Veress lost to Ryan Moore, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2.