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Softball: Arioto’s 2-run walk-off HR in bottom of 7th lifts Bears past ASU; Cal close to Pac-12 title

By Jeff Faraudo
Thursday, May 10th, 2012 at 6:29 pm in Spring sports.

Pleasanton’s Valerie Arioto’s two-run, walk-off home run with one out in the bottom of the seventh inning carried No. 1 Cal (49-3, 20-2 Pac-12) to a 4-2 win over No. 2 Arizona State (45-6, 17-3) to open their three-game series at Levine-Fricke Field in Berkeley.

The Bears can clinch their first outright Pac-12 title since 1987 and likely the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament with a win over the Sun Devils on Friday afternoon.

ASU led 2-0 before Cal scored twice in the bottom of the sixth on consecutive bases-loaded walks to Danielle Henderson and Victoria Jones to tie the score.

In the seventh, Jamia Reid led off with a bunt single and scored when Arioto hit the second pitch for a homer, pushing her single-season school-record total to 22.  

Arioto has 53 career home runs, just two off the all-time record held by Veronica Nelson (2000-03). She also has 183 career RBIs, eight shy of the school record.

Junior Jolene Henderson struck out eight and posted the victory, improving her record to 30-1.

Friday’s game begins at 3 p.m. The teams close the regular season Saturday with a noon game.

The NCAA tournament field will be announced Sunday at 7 p.m. on ESPNU.

 

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  • ConcordBear

    These girls just keep on rolling.
    Championship quality for sure!
    Love it that Val grew up local and is the best player in the country in her senior season at Cal. Awesome
    Jeff, how was the attendance today and expectations for this weekend and then the regionals?
    Thanks

  • Jeff Faraudo

    Attendance was 407. Would imagine crowds would be better for NCAA tournament games, right?

  • ConcordBear

    Sure would hope so. Capacity is not high, with such a great team you would think the local high school softball teams and parents in the area would attend.
    Hosting a regional, super regional or playing for Pac title is a very big deal.
    Thanks for the figure.