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