SB Nation Bay Area
Stay connected for news and updates Follow @sbnbayarea
Like us to subscribe
The Arizona State Sun Devils are your 2011 Women’s Softball National Champions. It was a relatively drama-less title run for ASU, who culminated their championship with two incredibly easy victories over Florida in the Finals—a 14-4 victory on Monday night, and tonight a 7-2 victory to wrap things up.
ASU relied on freshman pitcher Dallas Escobedo all season long to the tune of 36 wins and a 1.49 ERA, and she closed out her incredible rookie campaign with a complete game, 131 pitch performance. Escobedo shut down the power of the Florida bats, who only managed four hits (although they were walked five times). This cautious approach to knocking out the Gators seemed to work out quite well, as ASU did their best to put runs on the board. Shortstop Katelyn Boyd and outfield Alix Johnson knocked in 3 RBIs each, and Annie Lockwood nailed a solo home run to provide the scoring that the Devils needed to pull through.
The Arizona St. Sun Devils beat up the Florida Gators in Game 1 of the 2011 College Softball World Series finals. ASU's biggest bats in the 3-4-5 holes (Kaylyn Castillo, Annie Lockwood, Krista Donnenwirth) pounded the ball, going 7 for 10 combined from the plate, knocking in ten of the 14 runs, including two home runs.
It was a six run second inning that broke open the proceedings. After Hannah Rogers got the first two outs, ASU loaded the bases with two walks (one intentional, one not). Castillo singled in two runners, Lockwood singled in another, and then Donnenwirth cleared up the remaining bases. Just like that it was 7-0, and Florida was looking ahead to brighter days (perhaps later in time).
Dallas Escobedo had a relatively stress-free outing for ASU, although she did throw 158 pitches.
The Arizona State Sun Devils made an unsurprising entry to the College World Series championship after beating the exhausted Baylor Bears squad. Mandy Urfer hit a two run homer, Annie Lockwood nailed in an RBI double, Lesley Rogers managed an infield single, Dallas Escobedo pitched a five hitter, and the Sun Devils were on their way to the title game.
But it was the Florida Gators who made noise with their bats, shocking the Alabama Crimson Tide with two must-win performances. Florida set the tone Sunday morning with an incredible eleven run first inning, cruising to a 16-2 victory and knocking Kelsi Dunne out early. Dunne had beaten Cal to start out the College World Series double-elimination slate, but she had no answer for the Gators, who piled on the runs in both matchups, ending her Alabama career on an ignominious note.
So now Florida and ASU duel in Oklahoma City in a best-of-three to determine a championship; the schedule is below. Who will come out on top? Leave your thoughts in the comments on these matchups. Head over to House of Sparky (ASU SB Nation site) and Alligator Army (Florida SB Nation site).
Only four teams remain in the quest to be college softball's best team. With their elimination of Cal, the Florida Gators move on for an SEC tilt with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Florida won the season series 2-1 and has proven they can hit on their pitching, so the Gators will have a great chance to try and take two from the second seed. Alabama only needs to win one of the two games to advance.
On the other side of the bracket, the Pac-10's final representative will try and keep the conference's dominance of the Women's College Softball World Series going. The Arizona State Sun Devils remain the favorites to take it all, and they couldn't have received a more favorable matchup by taking on the weary Baylor Bears. ASU will only need one win to move on, as will Alabama, so they'll have the inside edge to get to the College World Series best-of-three series.
Here is your softball schedule.
The California Golden Bears softball team was eliminated from the 2011 Women’s College World Series by the Florida Gators. Florida defeated Cal 5-2 to advance to the semifinals of the NCAA softball tournament. Florida will face Alabama for a spot in the best-of-three championship series.
The Bears jumped on top of the Gators in the first inning, taking a 2-0 lead on an error, a double, and a single. However, after loading the bases with one out, Cal stranded all three runners. Those LOBs would prove pivotal.
Jolene Henderson got off to a solid start giving up no runs through the first 2 2/3 innings. However, Florida rallied with two outs in the third. Four singles and a walk gave the Gators a 3-2 lead, a lead which they would not relinquish. Cal got runners to second and third the rest of the way but they could not score any more runs. Florida added insurance in the fourth and fifth as they rolled to the 5-2 victory.
The Cal softball team hung around for one more day of the 2011 NCAA Women’s College World Series with a 6-2 over the Oklahoma State Cowgirls. The loss eliminates Oklahoma State from the WCWS. With the Saturday win, Cal advances to face Florida Saturday afternoon at 4:00pm pacific. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and via live online stream at espn3.com.
Cal received a solid start from Jolene Henderson, who threw a complete game and gave up only two earned runs. She struck out six while scattering six hits in the victory. A timely four-run outburst in the fifth inning secured the victory and advancement for Cal.
Cal took an early 1-0 lead before Oklahoma State hit two RBI-singles in the top of the fourth to take a 2-1 lead. California grabbed the lead back in the fifth thanks to a bases-clearing RBI triple by Ashley Decker. Victoria Jones then reached on an error by the shortstop, scoring Decker. The Bears added one more run in the sixth inning on an Elia Reid home run.
Oklahoma and Missouri will now square off in the bracket two loser’s bracket. The winner of that game will advance to face Baylor later Saturday night.
The 2011 NCAA Softball Women's College World Series enters day three as four teams will be eliminated on Saturday. The California Golden Bears play the Oklahoma State Cowgirls at 9:00am pacific, while the Missouri Tigers play the Oklahoma Sooners at approximately 11:30am pacific. Both games will be broadcast live on ESPN and will be available via live online stream at espn3.com.
The loser of those two games will be eliminated from the WCWS. The winner of Cal-Oklahoma State will advance to face Florida at approximately 4:00pm pacific on Saturday. Florida lost to Arizona State and dropped into the loser's bracket. The winner of Oklahoma-Missouri will advance to face Baylor at approximately 6:30pm pacific. Baylor was shut out by Alabama to drop into the loser's bracket. The losers in these two games will also be eliminated. The winners will advance to face Alabama and Arizona State on Sunday.
All four Saturday games will be available on ESPN and via live online stream at espn3.com.
The California Golden Bears softball team is hanging on the precipice after a 1-0 defeat to the Alabama Crimson Tide. In the double elimination tournament format, Cal is only afforded two losses before they get sent home, and the Bears will most likely have to win four in a row, all this weekend. With only one reliable pitcher in Jolene Henderson, Cal will likely need more than pitching to get to the Finals.
Cal will particularly need to get their bats going against Oklahoma State. The Bears aren't known for power hitting, but they do have enough power from players like Jace Williams and Britt Vonk to get their offense going. They'll need a lot of it to ensure a decisive victory over a Cowboys squad that also has very good pitching. Both teams are practically mirror images of each other, meaning we could have another low-scoring affair Saturday in Oklahoma City.
The game will be the first matchup of the day and will be broadcast on ESPN in HD and will also be available via live online stream at ESPN3.
The Florida Gators, Arizona St. Sun Devils, Alabama Crimson Tide and Baylor Bears are in prime position to advance to the College Softball World Series best of three championship. They won their first game, meaning they’d have to drop two of their next three/four matchups to fall. The losers of their games (Missouri Tigers, Oklahoma Sooners, Oklahoma St. Cowboys, California Golden Bears) are all skirting on thin ice, needing to win out to still have a shot, and having to play as many as four games in two days. Not an enviable position for any team to be in, and it seems the Bears will be in that type of hole to advance.
So it’s safe to say that the first four teams are the most likely to win it all. Let’s take a look at each matchup briefly.
Friday, June 3
Saturday, June 4
The 2011 Women’s College World Series enters its second day as the winner’s bracket moves forward. Alabama faces Baylor and Arizoa State faces Florida as the top seeds advanced in all four contests on Thursday. Both semifinals will be broadcast on ESPN and can be viewed via live online stream at espn3.com.
The loser’s side of the bracket will play on Saturday as California faces Oklahoma State and Oklahoma faces Missouri. The winner of each of those games will then move on to face the loser of the morning bracket in a Saturday afternoon contest. The winner of that subsequent game then moves on to face the lead team from the winner’s bracket on Sunday for a chance to play in the championship series.
As it currently stands, Cal will need to win three more games to advance to the championship series. If they beat Oklahoma State and then the loser of Baylor-Alabama, they will face the winner of Alabama-Baylor on Sunday. If they win the morning game they would need to win a second game since their opponent would only have one loss at that point.
The Alabama Crimson Tide ended their long streak of futility in the first round of NCAA Tournament, beating the California Golden Bears 1-0 thanks to their dominant pitching. Kelsi Dunne was dominant, displaying a nasty changeup that had Cal's hitters flustered all game long. It took her only 83 pitches to get through six innings of work, striking out 11 Golden Bears. After giving up a hit to Britt Vonk in the first inning, Dunne would only allow one walk and no hits the remainder of the game, Jackie Traina came in to close out the seventh, and it was as comfortable a 1-0 victory as you can possibly imagine for Alabama.
Jolene Henderson was impressive in defeat, striking out nine in six innings on 99 pitches while only allowing the one earned run. But Amanda Locke managed a huge single in the second inning, Keima Davis came in and stole second and third base, and Kaila Hunt put her home on a two-strike, two-out RBI single.
Alabama will move onto Friday night's game against the winner of Baylor-Oklahoma State. Cal faces the loser on Saturday morning to try and stay alive.
The 2011 NCAA Women's Softball College World Series kicks off Thursday morning with the California Golden Bears taking on the Alabama Crimson Tide at 10:00am pacific on ESPN2. Over the next seven days ESPN will provide live coverage of every one of the 14-17 games we will see played in Oklahoma City at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. If you do not get ESPN or ESPN2, or you're simply going to be away from your television during any of the games, you can also view the games through their live online stream at espn3.com.
The first day of games starts with Cal versus Alabama at 10:00am pacific. That is followed by Oklahoma State versus Baylor at 12:30pm. There is a break in the afternoon and then Oklahoma plays number one seed Arizona State at 4:00pm. The day wraps up with Missouri and Florida playing at 6:30pm. All four games will air on ESPN2 and also online at ESPN3.com.
The California Golden Bears softball kicks off their 2011 Women's College World Series appearance with the number two seed in the tournament. The Alabama Crimson Tide enter the WCWS as one of the co-favorites alongside Arizona State. The Tide won the only previous postseason matchup against Cal in 2007, but Cal holds a 3-2 all-time overall record against Alabama.
The Bears reached this point in the tournament with a strong series of road wins. They went into the Louisville regional and swept through with a win over Jacksonville State, followed by a pair of wins over host Louisville. They followed that up by heading over to Lexington, Kentucky and defeating the Kentucky Wildcats 2-1 in a best-of-three series. This follows their pattern of strong road performances all season long as they now stand 33-8 in road/neutral games. They're going to be underdogs against Alabama, but their performance this season has put them in a position to potentially spring an upset.
The Bears have been led by a mix of strong pitching and timely hitting. Pitcher Jolene Henderson has dominated the entire season and now sits at 39-8 with a 0.87 ERA. She was roughed up by Kentucky in the second game of the super regional series but bounced back to shut them out in game three. The Cal hitters don't quite match up with the Alabama bats, but they have proven their ability to get timely hits. They have three particularly solid hitters in Britt Vonk (.412/.505/.467), Jamia Reid (.409/.427/.518) and Jace Williams (.387/.481/.490). The lineup drops off rather precipitously after that, so the Bears will likely need to win some pitcher's duels.
The Tide currently stand 51-9 in 2011 and ridden home field advantage to the WCWS. Alabama rolled through their Tuscaloosa regional with a win over Jackson State and a pair of wins over Chattanooga. In their super regional they actually lost the opener to Stanford before bouncing back with a pair of strong performances to advance to the WCWS.
Alabama gets strong starting pitching from the duo of Kelsi Dunne and Jackie Traina who throw out 1.15 and 1.28 ERAs respectively. However, as solid as the starting pitching is, the offense is downright dominant. They boast a .315 batting average with seven players hitting over .300 in their starting lineup. They put up 432 runs in 2011 and will look to get to Jolene Henderson early. While Cal has shown an ability to score a decent amount of runs at times (see game three of Kentucky super regional), it is not something they can be expected to do consistently. If Cal is going to spring a day one upset, they'll need to keep things low-scoring.
The game will be the first matchup of the day and will be broadcast on ESPN2 in HD and will also be available via live online stream at espn3.com. Below is a rundown of probable starting lineups for Thursday's opener.
Probable Cal Starting Lineup
LF: #3 Jamia Reid
SS: #18 Britt Vonk
3B: #7 Jace Williams
C: #17 Lindsey Ziegenhirt
CF: #1 Frani Echavarria
DP: #23 Ashley Decker
2B: #10 Victoria Jones
1B: #2 Jordan Wallace
RF: #5 Elia Reid
P: #52 Jolene Henderson
Probable Alabama Starting Lineup
LF: #1 Kayla Braud
CF: #7 Jennifer Fenton
SS: #20 Whitney Larsen
DP: #22 Amanda Locke
RF: #2 Jazlyn Lunceford
1B: #18 Cassie Reilly-Boccia
2B: #10 Kaila Hunt
C: #12 Kendall Dawson
3B: #9 Courtney Conley
P: #0 Kelsi Dunne
The 2011 NCAA Softball Women’s College World Series kicks off Thursday morning at 10:00 am pacific as the California Golden Bears open play against the Alabama Crimson Tide. That will be followed by Oklahoma State versus Baylor, Oklahoma versus Arizona State, and Missouri versus Florida. The second set of matchups will take place Friday and Saturday between the various winners and losers.
Cal has actually been to the WCWS more times than anybody in the current field, with 11 total trips. Cal joins Arizona State and Oklahoma as the three teams to have won the WCWS. Florida and Missouri are the only two teams returning to the WCWS following 2010 trips. Coincidentally enough they will be squaring off in their first game of the eight-team double elimination bracket.
Cal enters the series with a 2-1 record against Arizona State and a victory over Missouri. The Bears finished 2011 second in the Pac-10 behind Arizona State. They advanced to the WCWS with a sweep of the Louisville regional, followed by a 2-1 series victory over Kentucky in Lexington.
Cal has faced all the other WCWS teams, although they’ve never played Missouri in postseason play. Below is a rundown of their record against each team in regular and postseason play, as well as their last meeting with each team.
All-time record: 3-2
All-time NCAA Tournament record: 0-1
Last meeting: L, 13-1 (5/19/07) in the Tuscaloosa Regional
vs. Arizona State
All-time record: 59-40
All-time NCAA Tournament record: 5-3
Last meeting: W, 3-2 (4/3/11)
All-time record: 6-2
All-time NCAA Tournament record: 2-1
Last meeting: L, 4-0 (3/17/07)
All-time record: 3-5
All-time NCAA Tournament record: 2-4
Last meeting: L, 2-1 (5/24/09) in the Gainesville Super Regional
All-time record: 5-1
All-time NCAA record: 0-0
Last meeting: W, 1-0 (2/20/11)
All-time record: 11-5
All-time NCAA Tournament record: 3-1
Last meeting: L, 12-1 in five innings (2/20/10)
vs. Oklahoma State
All-time record: 6-6
All-time NCAA Tournament record: 2-0
Last meeting: L, 3-2 (2/27/10)
This past weekend, Cal defeated Kentucky in three games to advance to the 2011 NCAA Women's Softball College World Series. The WCWS field was set through the weekend's super regional contests and features eight teams: Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Baylor, and Cal. The World Series is a double elimination bracket starting Thursday June 2.
The first round will feature the following matchups on June 2:
Game 1: #2 Alabama vs. #7 California
Game 2: #11 Baylor vs. Oklahoma State
Game 3: #1 Arizona State vs. #9 Oklahoma
Game 4: #4 Florida vs. #5 Missouri
You can view the entire bracket at NCAA.com. You just click on the box with the eight teams and an expanded bracket will appear. Here is a brief explanation of the bracket as well (you might be safer just viewing the link):
The second round will feature Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2 (in game 5) and Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 4 (in game 6). Those games will take place on June 3. On June 4, Loser Game 1 will take on Loser Game 2 (in Game 7), and Loser Game 3 will take on Loser Game 4 (in game 8).
The bracket gets a little funky at this point as we have losers starting to play winners now that teams will officially be eliminated. The loser of game 5 will take on the winner of game 7 (in game 9) for the right to face the winner of game 5 (in game 11). The loser of game 6 will take on the winner of game 8 (in game 10) for the right to face the winner of game 6 (in game 12). Get all that?
Games 11 and 12 are semifinal contests, but could turn into two-game affairs. Each semifinal will have one team with no losses and one team with one loss. If the one-loss team wins there will be one more game. If the no-loss team wins, they advance to the Championship Series.
Could it be any more simple?
The California Golden Bears put together a dominant 9-0 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats to advance to the 2011 Women's College World Series. The Bears joined Arizona State as one of two teams from the Pac-10 to advance to the WCWS. Cal took a back and forth three game series with UK to advance. Cal won game one 1-0 in a pitcher's duel. They were skunked 8-0 in game two, which forced a necessary game three. In game three the Bears rolled to an easy 9-0 victory to secure a World Series berth for the first time since 2005.
Cal now gets to face some serious national competition in the 2011 Women's College World Series. The eight team field includes Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Baylor, and Missouri. Arizona and Washington had a shot at the eight-team field, but they were unable to secure spots in the World Series.
The final seeding remains to be determined and considering Cal had to go on the road against an unranked Kentucky team, it's hard to tell who will end up with what seed. As it currently stands Cal would be around a fifth seed for this final. Of course, it all takes place in Oklahoma City, so maybe it's not quite as a big a deal. The final pairings will likely be announced in the coming days. All matchups will be on ESPN channels, which means live stream options will be available on espn3.com.
The California Golden Bears find themselves in a do-or-die situation in the super regional round of the 2011 NCAA Women’s Softball tournament. Kentucky defeated Cal 8-0 Sunday morning to even their best-of-three series at one game apiece. This followed Cal’s 1-0 victory Saturday morning. The two teams will square off in game three Sunday afternoon at approximately 12:30pm pacific. The game will be televised on ESPN and also be live streamed at ESPN3.com. The winner of the game will advance to the eight-team field in the Women’s College World Series.
Cal fell behind early in this one and could never bounce back. After a dominant performance from Jolene Henderson Saturday, the Bears pitcher struggled Sunday morning. She gave up three runs in the first inning and two runs in the second inning, which created an inescapable hole for Cal. Kentucky pitcher Rachel Riley put together a solid performance as she scattered five hits and no runs. Her defense stepped up as she only struck out one batter.
Head over to California Golden blogs for their open thread for the final game of this series.
The California Golden Bears got off to a solid start with a 1-0 victory over the Kentucky Wildcats to take a 1-0 lead in their best-of-three super regional series. The winner of the series advances to the 2011 Women’s College World Series, joining Alabama, Arizona State, Florida, and Oklahoma State.
The Bears received a dominant pitching performance from Jolene Henderson, who held the Wildcats to one hit and one walk over seven innings. The difference-maker for Cal was a fourth inning one-out home run by Franci Echavarria. The Bears had a chance for insurance runs in the fifth but couldn’t score a runner from third with one out.
The teams will square off in game two at 10:00am pacific on Sunday on ESPN. You can also watch the game via live online stream at ESPN3.com. If Cal wins they advance to the WCWS. If Kentucky wins, the two teams will square off in a winner-take-all elimination match at approximately 12:30pm pacific on Sunday. Saturday’s win improved Cal to 3-0 all-time against Kentucky.
The 2011 NCAA women's softball tournament continues its super regionals round on Saturday as the Kentucky Wildcats host the California Golden Bears. The tournament is telecast just about exclusively by ESPN, which means there are multiple options for viewing the tournament. Cal's best-of-three series will be featured on ESPNU, ESPN, and ESPN3.com as a free, legal live online stream.
The super regional matchup kicks off on Saturday morning at 9:00am pacific on ESPNU. The channel is a little funky in terms of what cable packages get it. However, if you don't get ESPNU, head over to ESPN3.com to view the game there. ESPN3.com requires your cable provider allow for it, but I've only known one person who couldn't get into ESPN3.com and he had some seriously funky cable.
The second game of the series is scheduled for 10:00am pacific Sunday morning on ESPN. Since most of the free world gets ESPN you'll likely be able to watch it there. If you will be away from a TV, head over to ESPN3.com. The third if necessary game is tentatively scheduled for 12:30pm pacific on ESPN.
We'll be here through the weekend with coverage of Cal's battle with the Kentucky Wildcats. Make sure and check our 2011 NCAA women's softball tournament story stream for continued coverage of Cal. Also, California Golden Blogs will have open threads Saturday and Sunday for discussion of the games.
The 2011 NCAA women's softball tournament continues its run towards the Women's College World Series Saturday May 28 as the California Golden Bears travel to face the Kentucky Wildcats in the Lexington Super Regional. The two teams will battle in a best-of-three series Saturday and Sunday, with the winner advancing into the eight-team Women's College World Series beginning June 2.
Cal enters this super regional series as the higher seed but still has to travel to Kentucky to do battle with the Wildcats. While home games might be preferable, the Bears are a solid road team, finishing the season 31-7 on the road after playing their entire non-conference schedule away from Levine-Fricke Field. The Bears are in the midst of a lengthy hot streak, winning 18 of their last 20 games entering this weekend's series.
The schedule for this best of three series has game one Saturday at 9:00am pacific on ESPNU. Game two is scheduled for Sunday at 10:00am pacific on ESPN. If the teams split those two games, a deciding game three will be Sunday afternoon at approximately 12:30pm pacific, also on ESPN. Here is a rundown of information with some pertinent calbears.com links.
As Cal gets ready for Saturday's opening game, CalBears.com has provided a rundown of probable starters:
P: #52 Jolene Henderson
C: #17 Lindsey Ziegenhirt
1B: #2 Jordan Wallace
2B: #10 Victoria Jones
3B: #7 Jace Williams
SS: #18 Britt Vonk
LF: #3 Jamia Reid
CF: #1 Frani Echavarria
RF: #5 Elia Reid
DP: #23 Ashley Decker