California 4, Long Beach State 3

May 20, 2005

FRESNO, Calif. - Catcher Haley Woods belted a two-run double on a two-out, 3-2 pitch in the top of the seventh to lift the California softball team to a 4-3 victory over Long Beach State on Friday at the Fresno State Regional. The Bears (47-12), facing elimination from the NCAA Tournament with a loss, advanced to the loser's bracket final and will face BYU (45-13).

The Cougars, who defeated Cal, 3-1, to open the tournament Thursday, were no-hit by Jamie Southern and Fresno State in a 3-0 loss earlier Friday. The Cal-BYU victor advances to play Fresno State, which must be beaten twice, on Saturday. The loser goes home.

Long Beach State (39-16) was eliminated.

The Bears took a brief 1-0 lead in the top of the second on an RBI-single from first baseman Julie Meyer that plated designated player Emily Friedman. Long Beach State responded in the bottom of the inning as left fielder Kourtnee Gervasi doubled down the right field line with one out. Right fielder Jonae Perez advanced to third on the hit and scored on an error by Cal shortstop Chelsea Spencer, who bobbled the throw down to second base in an effort to get Gervasi.

Anderson then walked 49er third baseman Melanie McCauley and was replaced by junior Kristina Thorson, who promptly induced a groundout from catcher Brooke LeSage and struck out center fielder Lauren Johnson to end the threat.

The Bears roared back in the third as a two-out base hit from second baseman Jessica Pamanian plated left fielder Lindsay James for a 2-1 advantage. But again, the 49ers tied the score in the bottom of the inning as shortstop Lacy Tyler doubled in first baseman Oli Keohohou to knot the game 2-2.

Long Beach State finally surpassed Cal in the fourth as center fielder Lauren Johnson rocketed the first pitch she saw from Thorson into the left field bleachers for a 3-2 lead.

Cal put runners on base on base in both the fifth and sixth but the timely hit was still to come. Right fielder Alex Sutton reached to lead off the seventh on an error by LBSU shortstop Tyler. Freshman Erika Racklin entered to pinch run for Sutton but was cited on a runner's interference call on a grounder to second base by senior Vicky Galindo. The next batter, left fielder Lindsay James, singled and following a pop up by center fielder Kaleo Eldredge, the stage was set for Woods.

The junior fought back from 1-2 count deficit to line a shot over Johnson's head. The ball bounded to the base of the wall allowing Galindo and James to score with ease.

Thorson (22-5) retired the side in order in the seventh to preserve victory. Long Beach State starter Meredith Cervenka fell to 23-9.

-- Courtesy Cal