OKLAHOMA CITY — Top-seeded California put together a 6-3 victory against Pac-12 rival Oregon in the final game of Elimination Saturday to advance to Sunday’s Women’s College World Series semifinals. The Golden Bears (58-6) must defeat second-seeded Alabama twice in order to advance to Monday’s championship series.
Oregon concludes its 2012 season with a record of 45-18.
After struggling for offense in Friday night’s loss to Oklahoma, Cal wasted no time collecting two hits and three runs in the top of the first inning on Saturday night. Britt Vonk started the rally with a one-out slap single and went to second on a two-out walk issued to Frani Echavarria. Jace Williams planted her eighth home run of the season over the fence in right-center field for a quick 3-0 lead.
|WOMEN’S COLLEGE WORLD SERIES|
June 2 Highlights
California 6, Oregon 3
Arizona State 6, LSU 0
Oregon 3, Tennessee 1
LSU 1, South Florida 0
Getting to Know
• LSU | UC | USF | OU | UO | ASU | UT | UA
• Alabama stands tall at WCWS
• Oklahoma’s powerful punch
• LSU’s long, winding road
• Two better than one for Bears
• How a Kiwi changed the Ducks
• Bulls following plan to the letter
• Previewing the Women’s College World Series
The offensive onslaught continued in the top of the second inning, as Danielle Henderson led off with a single through the left side, and Jamia Reid connected on a single up the middle. The pair advanced to scoring position on a wild pitch before a Vonk double down the right field line plated both to give Cal a 5-0 lead.
Oregon’s Samantha Pappas cut the lead to 5-1 in the bottom of the third inning with her second home run of the day, and 11th round-tripper of the year. Cal answered with a solo shot of its own in the top of the fourth, off the bat of Victoria Jones. It was her third homer of the season and upped Cal’s lead to 6-1.
Frani Echavarria continued her hot-hitting postseason with a single in the top of the fifth inning with a single through the left side, but was erased on a fielders choice. After a two-out bunt single from Breana Kostreba, Lindsey Chambers popped out to second base
In the bottom of the sixth, Oregon loaded the bases on a single, a hit-by-pitch and a walk. Sara Goodrum then connected on a two-run double to left field, cutting Cal’s lead to 6-3. Lindsey Chambers then popped out to Williams on the edge of the outfield grass. Williams’ throw back to the infield went astray, prompting lead runner Alexa Peterson to break for the plate, but catcher Victoria Jones was able to corral the bounce off of the backstop and block Peterson’s path to the plate, ending the inning and the threat.
“I think the play of the game that just kind of showed the heart of this team was the play that Victoria made at home getting the runner out at home plate,” said Cal head coach Diane Ninemire. “Jolene did a great job tonight. We had great timely hits tonight.”
Cal ace Jolene Henderson (38-3) struck out nine and walked two in the win, allowing three runs on six hits.
Jessica Moore took the loss for Oregon.
• For the fifth consecutive session, a new attendance record was set. Session 5 saw 9,310 fans in attendance, which is the largest single-session attendance in WCWS history. The previous record was set on Friday night with 9,209 fans in attendance.
• Every session of the 2012 WCWS has had at least 8,000 fans. The current average attendance through five sessions is 8,681 fans, over 1,000 fans ahead of the record average pace of 7,515 set last year.
• Cal pitcher Jolene Henderson retired the Ducks leadoff hitter in six of the seven innings. She improved to 38-3 on the season with the win.
• The third inning home run for Oregon’s Samantha Pappas was her second of the day. She also hit a solo home run to lead off the Ducks’ victory over Tennessee earlier in the day.