NCAA

Cal downs Oregon 6-3, advances to semis

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Cal downs Oregon 6-3, advances to semis

OKLAHOMA CITY - With its back against the wall in an elimination game, the California softball team came out firing on all cylinders - defeating Pac-12 foe Oregon on Saturday evening to keep the Golden Bears' Women's College World Series dreams alive.

Jace Williams started things with a bang in the first, driving in three runs by homering to center. Britt Vonk followed suit with a two-run double to right in the second for Cal to pull ahead 5-0. Sam Pappas cut Cal's lead to four with a solo shot in the third. Victoria Jones answered right back, smashing the first pitch of the fourth to left, putting the Bears up 6-1. A bases-loaded, one-out double by Sara Goodrum in the sixth made it a 6-3 ballgame.

It was all about working powerfully and efficiently with two outs for the Bears in the first two innings for all five of their runs came with two outs on the board.

After being two-hit against Oklahoma the day before, forcing the Bears to head to the loser's bracket, Cal responded in resilient fashion by out hitting the Ducks 9-6. Across the four games against Oregon this season, Cal went 3-1 and rocked the Oregon pitching staff for a grand total of six homers.

Top of the First - Cal 3, Oregon 0:

Britt Vonk singled to short, Frani Echavarria walked and the Golden Bear pair advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch. On a 2-2 count with two away, Jace Williams sent her eighth homer of the year to center.

Top of the Second - Cal 5, Oregon 0:

It was a slight mirror image with Danielle Henderson and Jamia Reid reaching - both on singles - and then moving to third and second on a passed ball. Again with two outs, Britt Vonk put the ball less than a foot fair down the right-field line for a two-run double.

Bottom of the Third - Cal 5, Oregon 1:

Samantha Pappas launched her second homer of the day - with the first coming against Tennessee - to get Oregon on the scoreboard.

Top of the Fourth - Cal 6, Oregon 1:

Victoria Jones knocked out her third home run of the year with a powerful shot to the left-field stands.

Bottom of the Sixth - Cal 6, Oregon 3:

With the bases loaded, Sara Goodrum singled to the wall in left, plating Kailie Cuico and Christie Nieto. A defensive gem by Jace Williams and Victoria Jones shut things down with a double play.
Next Time on the Diamond:

Cal must beat Alabama twice on Sunday to earn a spot in the championship final. First pitch between the Bears and Crimson Tide is set for 2:30 p.m. CT Sunday, following the ASU-Oklahoma game. Should the Sun Devils beat the Sooners in that game, they force the "if necessary" game, which will begin at 6 p.m. If Oklahoma wins the first game, the Sooners eliminate the Sun Devils and the Cal-Bama "if necessary" game will start at 6 p.m.

Courtesy University of California media services

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

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AP

Pac-12 basketball teams near Barcelona terrorist attack safe

Men's basketball teams from Oregon State, Clemson and Arizona were staying at a hotel in Barcelona, Spain, near where a van drove into pedestrians on Thursday, but team officials said everyone was safe.

Spanish police have confirmed they are investigating the bloodshed in Barcelona's historic Las Ramblas district as a terror attack. The area is a popular summer tourist spot.

Tulane also was playing in Barcelona, but it was unclear if they were staying in the same hotel as the other teams.

Oregon State assistant coach Gregg Gottlieb posted to Facebook: "We are all luckily ok. Our hotel/restaurant is located right on Las Ramblas. This tragedy happened right in front of us as our team just sat down for pregame meal. Thoughts and prayers for all those that are were hurt."

The Beavers' game Thursday night was canceled. It was supposed to be the first of a five-game tour.

Clemson was scheduled to play Thursday night against a Spanish All-Star team.

"We've been in contact with our men's basketball program currently in Barcelona and the entire travel party is safe and secure. Their exhibition game for tonight has been cancelled and the team will return to Clemson as previously scheduled tomorrow morning. Our thoughts are with the people of Barcelona," the South Carolina school said in a statement.

Clemson coach Brad Brownell confirmed in a text to The Associated Press that the three teams were staying in the same hotel.

"We are fine. Thankful to be safe and together," Brownell wrote.

Tulane athletic director Troy Tannen confirmed via social media that the Green Wave players and staff were safe.

Replying to a Twitter inquiry from a Portland television about whether the team was OK, Oregon State head coach Wayne Tinkle responded: "Yes we are, happened directly in front of our hotel while we were having a team meal in the restaurant, so senseless and sad! All accounted4."

Oregon State said it has not yet determined the remaining schedule for the team, which was supposed to be on the exhibition tour until Aug. 25.

A spokesman for Arizona said the Wildcats have canceled their third and final exhibition of their tour and "are currently working on travel plans to return home."

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

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USATSI

The future of Cal athletics, or lack thereof

Your education dollars are always at work, so it is with pride and bewilderment that we report that the University of California’s incoming class (2021, for those few who can get out in four years) marched to Memorial Stadium and formed the world’s largest human letter.
 
It was . . . wait for it . . . a “C.” A 7,196-person-strong “C.”
 
But the school, as it occasionally does, missed a golden opportunity to seize a golden opportunity. All they needed to do was have a quick whip-round, get $55,586.44 from each and every one of the captives . . . er, students, and they could have wiped out their entire athletics deficit in one night.
 
You see, while forming gigantic letters is always fun (or as the kids used to say when double negatives didn’t mean voting, never not fun), Cal is staring at quite possibly the bleakest future a major athletic university ever has. The athletic department, whose chief officer, Mike Williams, has just announced his intention to quit, is over $400 million in debt between construction costs, ambition, shrinking allegiance and the absence of a Phil Knight-level sugar daddy to buy the pain away.
 
And before you blame Williams, he inherited this indigestible planetoid from his predecessor, Sandy Barbour, who grew it from her predecessor, Steve Gladstone, and hastened it from . . . well, you get the drift. 
 
Cal’s been blowing through money it hasn’t been taking in for years upon years, didn’t realize the deficit-cutting benefits of the Pac-12 Network (because they largely don’t exist), and the day of reckoning looms closer and closer, especially now that new chancellor Carol Christ (no apparent relation) described the deficit as “corrosive” and has insisted that the athletic department have a balanced budget by 2020.
 
In short, the school may only be able to afford a lower-case “C” before too long. Maybe in comic sans.