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Forest, Golden Bears squeak out 1-0 win over Stanford in NCAA regional

Daily Planet Wire Services
Saturday May 18, 2002

FRESNO – The fifth-ranked Golden Bears (50-19 overall) won their 50th game of the season, only the third team to do so in Cal history, on junior Courtney Scott’s double to center in the bottom of the sixth inning to defeat No. 2 seed Stanford, 1-0, in the second round of the NCAA West Regional at Bulldog Diamond.  

In another classic pitching dual between two Pac-10 teams, senior Jocelyn Forest edged Stanford’s Tori Nyberg in the circle, striking out seven batters and walking none while shutting down the Cardinal for just four hits in seven games.  

“I think it was a great pitcher’s duel,” said Cal coach Diane Ninemire. “I thought we were struggling a little bit at the plate today. Courtney is the person you want up at the plate and she came through when we needed her.”  

“Jocelyn was really in command of her pitches today,” said Ninemire. “She and Courtney really mixed up the pitches.”  

Early on in the contest, Cal’s biggest threat came when the Bears’ Veronica Nelson was hit by a pitch with no outs in the bottom of the second inning. But after a Scott sacrifice bunt that moved pinch runner junior Roni Rodrigues to second, freshman Jessica Pamanian popped up to second and freshman Chelsea Spencer grounded to the pitcher to end the inning.  

Stanford (44-19) also threatened, getting a runner on base as a result of a hit batter. After a fielder’s choice by the Cardinal’s leading hitter Sarah Beeson, Kira Ching singled up the middle giving Stanford runners on second and first. Cassi Brangham, however, popped out to second base to end the inning.  

Nyberg had a one-hitter going into the 6th inning, but senior Candace Harper changed all that as she legged out an infield single with two outs. Nelson drew her 95th walk of the year, bringing up Scott. The Clovis native, playing in front of hometown fans, belted a double over the head of the center fielder to score Harper for the game-winner.  

“I knew Courtney would step up to the challenge and she did,” said Ninemire.  

Nelson broke the NCAA single season walk record, a mark she has re-recorded each of the last two years, with her first walk of the game in the fourth inning.  

The win over the cross-bay rival was sweet revenge for the Bears, as the Cardinal ousted Cal, 1-0, from last season’s College World Series.  

“Its pretty much an on-going battle (with Stanford),” said Forest. “You just keep it as is and adjust when they make changes. Today, Courtney and I changed it up a little bit and it worked.”  

The Bears are set to play the winner of the Fresno State and Cal State Fullerton contest today at 2:30 p.m. at Bulldog Stadium.