Softball: Bears earn No. 1 overall NCAA seed, will host Iona in Friday regional opener


The Cal softball team (50-4) has earned the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA tournament and will host a regional, beginning Friday at Levine-Fricke Field.

The Pac-12 champion Golden Bears will face Iona (25-24) in the first NCAA tournament game played at Berkeley. Game time is 7 p.m.

Arkansas (27-26) and Boston U (40-14) also are headed to the Bay Area.

The double-elimination regional runs Friday through Sunday.

The winner of the Berkeley Regional will play the champion of the Seattle Regional, which features No. 16 seed Washington (36-17), Harvard (33-13), Maryland (34-20) and Texas Tech (40-15).

If the Bears win the regional, they also will host the Super Regional a week later. 

 All-session passes will go on sale Monday at 9 a.m. All-sessions passes cost $55, $40 and $25 (for senior/youth tickets). Tickets will be available through www.calbears.com.

Here’s the Cal official news release.




Softball: Arioto’s record 21st HR sparks Bears

Valerie Arioto’s school-record 21st home run in the first inning started the top-ranked Golden Bears (47-3, 18-2 Pac-12) on their way to a 4-2 win over Oregon State on Saturday afternoon at Corvallis, Ore.

Freshman Breana Kostreba added her 12th homer of the season, Jace Williams doubled in a run and Victoria Jones knocked home Williams with a single.

Jolene Henderson pitched five innings to improve to 28-1 on the season. She allowed two runs, neither of them earned.

— BASEBALL: Chad Bunting’s three-run homer in the seventh inning helped the Bears (24-19, 8-12 Pac-12) beat host Washington State 9-4 and snap a four-game losing streak. Right-hander Matt Flemer earned his seventh pitching victory and Tony Renda went 3 for 4 at the plate.


Softball: Arioto hits 20th home to break school record as Bears bounce back vs. Oregon

Valerie Arioto broke her own single-season record with her 20th home run and No. 1 Cal (42-3, 13-2 Pac-12) rebounded from a loss the day before with a 10-0 romp at No. 14/18 Oregon (21-11, 9-7).

Ashley Decker hit a 2-run homer and RBI single and Breana Kostreba also homered.

Arioto (Foothill HS-Pleasanton), who homered 19 times last season, now has 51 for her career. She is four home runs shy of the Cal career record of 55, set by Veronica Nelson (2000-03).

Jolene Henderson pitched a 3-hitter with six strikeouts, improving to 24-1 on the season.

— BASEBALL: The Bears (23-15, 7-8) posted a 5-2 win over Utah (10-28, 5-13) to complete a weekend sweep at Evans Diamond and win their fourth game overall.  Cal has won six of seven and has climbed from last place to eighth in the 11-team Pac-12 standings.

Junior left-hander pitched his 22nd career victory and Chad Bunting homered, his third in the series.


Softball: Bears rout Ducks, improve to 41-2

The top-ranked Cal women’s softball team (41-2, 12-1 Pac-12) scored five runs in the fourth inning and easily topped Oregon 8-1 at Eugene, Ore.

Jolene Henderson pitched a four-hitter and eight strikeouts while improving to 23-1. Jace Williams included a home run among three hits and drove in four runs and Frani Echavarria doubled home three runs to power the offense.

   — Baseball: Chad Bunting hit two home runs and drove in five runs as the Bears (21-15, 5-8) climbed out of last place in the Pac-12 with a 9-4 home victory over Utah (10-26, 5-11). Andrew Knapp also homered among Cal’s 17 hits.

The Bears, who lead the Pac-12 in errors, played flawlessly in the field for the second straight game.


Softball: Bears rout Broncos, now 40-2

The top-ranked Cal women’s softball team stepped outside the Pac-12 and toppled Santa Clara 10-2 in five innings to win its 40th game of the season.

Senior Valerie Arioto struck out 13 in five innings and improved to 18-1, while going 2 for 3 with two RBI. Danielle Henderson hit her 13th home run, a three-run shot in the first inning, and Lindsey Ziegenhirt clubbed her first homer of the season.


Softball: No. 1 Bears complete sweep of UW

The top-ranked Bears (33-1, 6-0 Pac-12) pulled off their second straight Pac-12 weekend sweep, beating No. 3 Washington (33-4, 3-3) by scores of 5-3 and 6-4 at Levine-Fricke Field.

Valerie Arioto pitched no-hit ball through five innings, struck out nine batters and improved to  15-0 in the opener. The Bears staked her to a 5-0 lead, sparked by a third-inning home run from Frani Echavarria.

In the second game, Valerie Arioto put the Bears in front 2-0 in the first inning with her 15th home run of the season. Jamia Reid added a two-run single in the second before Victoria Jones and Elia Reid each had RBI doubles in the fifth.

Jolene Henderson struck out 10 batters while improving her record to 18-1.

Meanwhile . . .

   — Baseball: Mitch Delfino homered and had an RBI single and the Bears (16-10) took two of three games from No. 18 Texas (15-11) in Round Rock, Texas. Cal returns to Pac-12 action Thursday for the start of a three-game series at USC.

   — Rugby: The powerhouse Bears started 11 freshmen and four sophomores and scored 20 tries to rout host UC Santa Cruz 128-0. Cal (15-1) has outscored its opponents by a combined margin of 1,045 to 109.


Softball: Arioto hits 2 HRs in 9-0 rout of Stanford

Senior Valerie Arioto hit two of Cal’s five home runs and the No. 2-ranked Bears beat No. 9 Stanford 9-0 in the Pac-12 opener at Stanford.

Arioto’s two 2-run blasts give her 13 homers for the season.

Jolene Henderson pitched a three-hit shutout with six strikeouts and no walks for the Bears (26-1, 1-0). Breana Kostreb, Danielle Henderson and Ashley Decker also homered for Cal.

Weather-permitting, the teams will play again Saturday at 1 p.m. at Stanford.

Elsewhere . . .

   — Men’s swimming: Junior Thomas Shields won the 100 butterfly (44.76 seconds) and the 100 backstroke (44.86) and swam on the runnerup 200 medley and 800 freestyle relays as Cal maintained its lead at the NCAA championships.

The Bears have 379.5 points through two days, leading runnerup Texas (343.5) and fourth-place Stanford (277). The meet concludes Saturday.

Stanford freshman Kristian Ipsen of De La Salle HS won the 3-meter diving title with a score of 469.20 points.