Riding its momentum from earlier wins, Cal went 4-1 at the Wilson Invitational this past weekend. The Bears, posting 25 runs in five games, beat every opponent at least once for a second consecutive tournament.
Day one saw the blue and gold take on Louisiana-Monroe and Long Beach State. Anna Reimers started on the mound against LMU, where she struggled and allowed five runs before being chased out in the second inning. She was replaced by Annabel Teperson, who provided stability, tossing 4.2 scoreless innings. Makena Smith led the offense, reaching home three times.
That being said, the Bear’s efforts proved to not be enough for a win, as they dropped the contest 5-4.
Cal’s offense was much more lively against the Dirtbags. The blue and gold, again led by Smith and her five RBIs, ended the night with eight runs. Elon Butler, Tianna Bell and Kacey Zobac all had one RBI apiece.
The pitching, too, followed suit as Haylei Archer and Teperson allowed two runs each — which was enough for victory. The Bears went to sleep on a high note, winning 8-4.
The remaining two days saw the Bears playing on cruise control.
Saturday, Cal faced UC Davis before a rematch with Long Beach State. The matinee against the Aggies was competitive for a short while, with the score tied at one after three innings. That was until — you guessed it — Smith hit a double in the fourth, scoring Mika Lee and Hope Alley.
The Bears’ 3-1 advantage was all they needed, as Reimers pitched a full-game gem — a great response to her struggle on day one.
Later that evening, the blue and gold once again allowed just one run in their second leg against the Dirtbags. Archer pitched an excellent seven innings and Long Beach’s one run aboard was unearned.
Interestingly, Cal’s six runs came off of a mere three hits. Sophie Medellin’s two walks netted two runs, leading the team to a 6-1 victory and a two-game sweep over the host.
On Sunday, the stage was set for a revenge game, with the Bears hungry against the only team that defeated them throughout the tournament: Louisiana-Monroe.
Seeing LMU for a second time benefited Cal, as it dominated its foe in all facets. The Bears, piloted by Teperson, made a statement with their third shutout win of the season.
Alley had two RBIs, and Bell and Lee each had one. Teperson allowed only four hits, giving the Bears’ bats a certain level of comfort. Cal returned home with a 4-0 win and an overall Wilson Invitational record of 4-1.
Softball in Berkeley has been the real deal to begin the year. The blue and gold have stacked up wins against every team they’ve faced and are still yet to play a game on their home field. Not hosting a game until March 5, when the Bears welcome Villanova, Cal will have to continue this trend on the road.
At this point last year the Bears were 8-3. The same was true in 2021. If this Cal team wants to be special, it must be consistent throughout the entire season while standing tall in conference play. The early wins in early tournaments are positive signs that the Bears are on the right track. However, the Bears also know that the real season begins March 10, when UCLA makes the trip to the Bay Area.
Until Pac-12 play commences, it’s important for Cal to keep this stretch of success going. The Bears return to the diamond Friday, where they’ll participate in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. Cal softball has another matchup against San Diego, in addition to its first looks at Utah Valley, Cal Poly, Iowa and Texas Tech.