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Softball: Bears one win away from World Series

The top-seeded Golden Bears (55-5) blanked Washington 5-o in the NCAA softball super regionals at Levine-Fricke Field and need just one victory on Sunday to secure their 12th trip to the College World Series.

Slugger Valerie Arioto, rarely given a pitch to hit in recent games, blasted a two-run homer in the first inning and Jolene Henderson threw her 16th shutout of the season.

Arioto now has 23 home runs on the season — an ongoing school record — and 54 for her career.

Henderson improved to 5-0 in the postseason, her ERA dipping to 0.57 over the past two weekends.

Game 2 is Sunday at 4 p.m., with a third game, if necessary, at 6:30 p.m. The games are sold out, but will be aired on ESPN2.

Jeff Faraudo