By Jeff Faraudo
Friday, May 11th, 2012 at 5:15 pm in Spring sports.
The top-ranked Cal women’s softball team rode a six-hit pitching performance by Valerie Arioto to a 5-0 win over No. 2 Arizona State, clinching its first outright Pac-12 championship since 1987. Cal shared the conference title in 2005.
The Golden Bears (50-3, 21-2) also almost assuredly wrapped up the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA tournament. Cal has been ranked No. 1 in both polls for seven consecutive weeks, and now owns back-to-back victories over the Sun Devils (45-7, 17-4).
The teams meet a third time on Saturday at noon at Levine-Fricke Field, but the league championship race has been settled.
Arioto (Foothill High), whose walk-off, 2-run homer in the seventh inning provided the Bears a 4-2 win on Thursday, struck out 11 and walked one while improving to 20-2.
Cal scored single runs in the second and fourth innings on RBI singles by freshman Danielle Henderson. The Bears added three runs in the fifth on a 2-run single by Elia Reid and a sacrifice fly by Danielle Henderson, who had a three-RBI day.