Softball: No. 1 Bears blank Bruins again

The top-ranked Cal softball team (44-3, 15-2 Pac-12) scored its second straight shutout of No. 14/15 UCLA (33-14, 9-8), winning 8-0 in six innings at Levine-Fricke Field. The shutout was the 23rd of the season for the Bears’ pitching staff.

Senior Valerie Arioto pitched four innings to improve to 19-2 while Jolene Henderson picked up the save.

The Bears hit four doubles and took advantage of three UCLA errors.

— BASEBALL: The Bears (23-17, 7-10) lost 3-2 at No. 9 Oregon (29-13, 13-7), their second straight defeat after winning six of seven. Mitch Delfino was 4 for 5 and drove in both runs for Cal.




Softball: Henderson, Bears shut out Bruins

Top-ranked Cal (43-3, 14-2 Pac-12) got a 3-hit pitching performance from Jolene Henderson (25-1) and maximized the three hits it managed for a 3-0 win over No. 14/15 UCLA (33-13, 9-7).

The Bears posted their 22nd shutout win of the season.

Ashley Decker had a two-run single in the third inning and Cheyenne Cordes drove in the final run with a sacrifice fly in the sixth.

— BASEBALL: The Bears (23-16, 7-9 Pac-12) lost 4-1 at No. 9 Oregon (28-13, 12-7), snapping a four-game win streak. Chadd Krist slugged his 60th career double, just one shy of Cal’s school record, set by Jon Zuber (1989-92).


Baseball: Bears blank Utes for third win in a row

Senior Matt Flemer pitched eight shutout innings and got home runs from Chadd Krist and Andrew Knapp in a 9-0 win over Utah at Evans Diamond. Knapp has homered in three straight games and Cal has played errorless ball in all three.

As a result, the Bears (22-15, 6-8 Pac-12) have won three in a row and five of six.

Flemer improved to 6-2 and dropped his earned run average to 1.95. He struck out eight and scattered five hits.

Cal goes for a series sweep of Utah (10-27, 5-12) on Sunday with a 1 p.m. game.

— SOFTBALL: The top-ranked Cal women (41-3, 12-2 Pac-12) managed just four hits and lost 1-0 at Oregon (31-11, 9-6). The Bears are now even in the loss column with second-place Arizona State (37-5, 9-2 entering its game Saturday night against Stanford).

Valerie Arioto allowed just five hits and blanked Oregon for five innings before the Ducks scored the game’s only run on a two-out RBI single by Kailee Cuico in the sixth. Jessica Moore struck out eight and improved to 22-7 for Oregon.


Softball: Bears retain top spot in both polls

Despite losing just its second game of the season last week, the Cal women’s softball team remains atop both national polls.

The Golden Bears (39-2 overall, 11-1 in Pac-12) are No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Softball and USA Today/NFCA rankings for the fourth consecutive week.

Alabama (40-2) remains No. 2 in both polls.

Cal faces Santa Clara (8-36) in a nonconference game Wednesday at 3 p.m. at Levine-Fricke Field in Berkeley, then visits No. 14/18 Oregon (29-9, 8-5), the Pac-12’s third-place team, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.


Softball: Bears sweep 2 from Utes, now 9-0 in Pac

Top-ranked Cal (36-1, 9-0 in Pac-12) stayed alone atop the conference standings after beating Utah 11-3 in five innings and 12-3 in six innings at Salt Lake City. The Bears outscored the Utes (23-12, 0-6) by a combined total of 33-6 in three games.

In the opener, Valerie Arioto slugged her conference-leading 16th home run of the season, and Jace Williams, Deana Kostreba, Danielle Henderson and Jolene Henderson also homered. Arioto allowed just three hits while improving to 16-0 on the season.

In the nightcap, Ashley Decker, Kostreba and Danielle Henderson homered for the Bears and Jolene Henderson struck out six in six innings to improve to 20-1.



Softball: Echavarria powers Bears past Utes

Frani Echavarria doubled twice, homered and drove in five runs and No. 1 Cal (34-1, 7-0 Pac-12) routed host Utah 10-0 in a five-inning game.

Danielle Henderson added a home run and three RBI and Jolene Henderson (19-1) pitched a five-inning two-hitter against the Utes (23-10, 0-4). Slugger Valerie Arioto was walked twice, boosting her NCAA-leading total to 49.

Meanwhile . . .

   — Baseball: Relievers Keaton Simpkin, Chris Muse-Fisher and Joey Donofrio combined to pitch five one-hit, scoreless innings and the Bears (17-10, 2-5) scored twice in the top of the ninth inning fpr a 5-4 win at USC (17-10, 3-6). Mitch Delfino singled in Vince Bruno with one out in the ninth to tie the game before Tony Renda doubled home Delfino.


Softball: Bears move to No. 1 in ESPN poll

Fresh off a three-game sweep of rival Stanford, the Cal softball team has climbed to No. 1 in the ESPN.com/USA Collegiate Top-25.

The Bears outscored Stanford 21-3 in three games to improve to 29-1 for the season. They moved up one spot from No. 2 after Alabama (30-1) lost for the first time. The Crimson Tide is No. 2 this week.

Washington (32-1), which visits Cal this week, is No. 3. Stanford (25-6) fell from No. 9 to 13.


Softball: No. 2 Bears sweep Stanford, now 29-1

The No. 2-ranked Golden Bears (29-1) completed a three-game road sweep of No. 9 Stanford (25-6), winning 4-3 and 8-0 on the opening weekend of the Pac-12 schedule.

Valerie Arioto improved to 12-0 pitching in Game 1, supported by a home run from Breana Kostreba.

In Game 2, Arioto had an RBI double and her 14th homer of the season, Frani Echavarria hit a two-run homer, Jace Williams a solo shot, and Jolene Henderson pitched a complete-game four-hitter, pushing her record to 16-1.

Meanwhile . . .

   — Rugby: Cal beat the University of British Columbia 46-20 at Thunderbird Stadium in Vancouver to complete a season sweep of their “World Cup” series. Cal (14-1) beat the Thunderbirds 13-12 in Berkeley on Feb. 18.

Cal and UBC have been squaring off in rugby since 1921. The Bears have won the home-and-home series the past six seasons.


Men’s swimming: Cal defends NCAA team title

Thomas Shields finally was beaten at the NCAA men’s swimming championships, but it didn’t derail the Bears’ run to their second straight team title at Federal Way, Wash.

That’s because Shields finished second in the 200-yard butterfly to freshman teammate Will Hamilton and the 1-2 finish helped Cal outdistance Texas and Stanford for the NCAA crown.

Hamilton won in 1 minute, 40.94 seconds and Shields — who won the 100 fly and 200 back the night before — touched in 1:41.07.

Cal had a 51 1/2-point lead entering the meet’s final event, the 400 free relay, and already had locked up the team title. But the Bears finished second, with Shields swimming the anchor leg.

The Bears finished with 535.5 points, with Texas (491) and Stanford (426.5) second and third, respectively.

“What Cal did I have all the respect in the world for,” said first-year Arizona coach Eric Hansen, whose team was considered the pre-meet favorite. “They did something not many teams have ever done: They took a good team and made it phenomenal.”

Earlier, Cal scored big points in the 200 breast, where Trevor Hoyt, Martin Liivamagi and Nolan Koon placed 2-5-6.

Cal last won back-to-back NCAA men’s swim titles in 1979 and ’80.

Meanwhile . . .

   — Softball: Game 2 of the Cal-Stanford series was rained out. The teams will try to play a doubleheader on Sunday at Stanford, beginning at noon.