The Cal women’s softball team beat a ranked team for the second straight day before seeing its perfect season record snapped.
The Bears got a walk-off homer from freshman Kobie Pettis to beat No. 9 Florida State 7-6 at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs. A day earlier, Cal topped No. 10 Tennessee 1-0.
But Cal (12-1) lost for the first time in its second game Saturday, falling 3-1 to South Carolina.
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FINAL SCORE: Stanford 72, Cal 61. Kravish finished with a career-high 23 points and had 12 rebounds, but got very little help. The senior forward shot 9 for 14. His teammates combined to go 14 for 41. Wallace added 11 points, but shot 4 for 14. Cal, which had won five of six, falls to 16-11 overall, 6-8 in the Pac-12. Stanford (17-9, 8-6) has beaten Cal five of the past six meetings, including both times this season. The Bears return to action Wednesday at home against Oregon.
5:21 2nd H: Stanford 61, Cal 52. Kravish has scored back-to-back baskets — a first for Cal this half — and the Bears are hanging in there. Kravish has 23 points, his career high.
7:51 2nd H: Stanford 60, Cal 48. It’s been over for a while now. Cal continues to fight, but Stanford has a grip on this one. Or so it seems. Stanford freshmen Humphrey and Travis have a combined 22 points and 16 rebounds.
The No. 21 Cal women’s softball team improved to 11-0 with a 1-0 win over 10th-ranked Tennessee in the opening game of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Palm Springs.
Sophomore Katie Sutherland pitched a complete game shutout, allowing just four hits and striking out a career-high nine Volunteers. Sutherland is 4-0 and has allowed one earned run in 13 innings this season.
Cheyenne Cordes singled in the game’s only run in the first inning.
The Bears play No. 9 Florida State and South Carolina on Saturday.
* Saturday, 3:30 p.m., Pac-12 Networks
What’s at stake Saturday when Cal (16-10, 6-7) takes on Stanford (16-9, 7-6) at Maples Pavilion?
Obviously, it’s not the Pac-12 regular-season title. The Bears are tied for seventh place, five games behind co-leaders Arizona and Utah with five games to play.
And it’s not an NCAA tournament at-large bid. The Bears were No. 91 in the NCAA’s RPI rankings Friday morning. From that vantage point, they can’t see an at-large bid with a telescope.
No, what’s at play here and for the next two weeks is jockeying for seeding in the Pac-12 tournament, which begins March 11 at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas.
The prize for those teams no longer chasing the Pac-12 is a top-four seeding, which is worth a bye for the opening round on Wednesday. The top four teams advance directly to the Thursday quarterfinals and therefore need to win just three times — not four — in order to capture the tournament and the Pac-12′s automatic NCAA bid.
A tall order, either way. But a top-four seeding puts you one game closer to the NCAAs.
So, how realistic is a top-four finish?
Cal junior Tyrone Wallace, in his first season at the position, is among 16 finalists for the Bob Cousy Point Guard of the Year award.
Wallace averages 17.7 points, 7.7 rebounds and 3.6 assists for the 16-10 Bears, who return to action Saturday at Stanford. He has posted 10 games of at least 20 points this season.
Other finalists for the award include Arizona’s T.J.McConnell, Washington’s Nigel Williams-Goss and Utah’s Delon Wright.
Cal has scheduled a home-and-home football series against Mississippi, with the Rebels visiting Berkeley on Sept. 16, 2017.
The Bears will play the return game at Oxford, Miss., on Sept. 21, 2019.
In order to accommodate Ole Miss, Cal and Auburn have agreed to postpone their upcoming series for one year. The Bears and Tigers will meet at Auburn on Sept. 19, 2020, with the two schools playing in Berkeley on Sept. 18, 2021.
Expect sophomore guard Jordan Mathews to be in the lineup Saturday when Cal plays at Stanford.
Mathews, who sprained his ankle two weeks ago against UCLA and was hobbled Sunday at Utah, is feeling better, coach Cuonzo Martin said Wednesday.
“He’s fine,” Martin said.
Mathews injured the ankle on a tip-in late in the first half against UCLA, then scored 19 points the next game out at Colorado.
“If you watched the Colorado game, he had a slight limp to him, but he still made shots,” Martin said. “It just took a toll.”
Mathews played sparingly in the loss at Utah, attempting just two shots in a scoreless performance.
Martin said junior forward Christian Behrens had his knee cleaned up in arthroscopic surgery last Friday and is sidelined indefinitely.
Here is staff writer Elliott Almond’s preview of the two-game series this week between the Cal and Stanford women’s basketball teams.
The rivals clash tonight at Haas Pavilion, then again Sunday at Stanford.
Cal fans will recall that the Golden Bears football team was featured season-long in the fall of 2013 on “The Drive,” the behind-the-scenes program aired by the Pac-12 Newtworks.
“The Drive” branched out to basketball this season, and Cal will be highlighted in tonight’s episode that can be seen at 9 p.m., with an encore at 11 p.m.
Here is a tease of tonight’s episode: http://pac-12.com/videos/the-drive-digital-exclusive-cal-mens-basketball-cuonzo-martin-puts-emphasis-defense
A couple stories from this morning’s edition you may want to check out:
* Cal sophomore and Olympic swim star Missy Franklin says she hasn’t decided whether she will continue training in Berkeley for the 2016 Rio Olympics after she completes her collegiate career this spring.
* The Bears’ field hockey team stages a small protest that the temporary practice field it was promised by the Cal administration still is not ready with spring workouts under way.