To finish their February action, the Bears trekked down to Southern California one last time, where they competed in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Cal finished the tournament undefeated, beating San Diego 10-1, Utah Valley 6-5, Cal Poly 8-3, Iowa 6-4 and Texas Tech 3-0. The blue and gold also extended their winning streak to an impressive nine games.
The Bears saw another powerful stretch from their bats — they have now scored 33 runs in their last five games. Cal also finds itself first in the Pac-12 for total bases and second in slugging percentage. Sophie Medellin, who’s batting .359 on the year, led the way in Cathedral City with four home runs.
The junior is fourth on the team in batting average and shared what factors were crucial to her success at the plate.
“We go over a lot of film at practice before the game, so I pretty much had a plan for the pitchers that we faced,” Medellin said. “Last weekend I was a little timid. I feel like I thought a little bit too much. I definitely had a clear mind going into this tournament, knowing how big it was for our team and our standing.”
Medellin exuded confidence this week, producing seven RBIs and earning seven hits.
In addition to Medellin, Makena Smith and D’Asha Saiki added to the blue and gold hit-fest, providing six and seven, respectively.
Continuing a season-long trend, the pitching staff also had necessary, timely outings. Those on the mound included Haylei Archer and Annabel Teperson, whose clutch performances contributed to four of Cal’s five wins in the Classic.
Teperson, who moved to 4-0 on the year, attributed her spotless record to her teammates and coaches.
“I was really working with my team and getting a lot of help from my coaches,” Teperson said. “And then trusting in my teammates. I think that’s a really big part of it. I know that they’re out there and they have my back and that really allows me to throw my best stuff.”
“Trust” has been a word ringing in the clubhouse for weeks — a green flag for any team with championship aspirations.
Building on the momentum of wins has been something the blue and gold have successfully done this season. The Bears’ 14 victories have come from five- and nine-game winning streaks.
Third-year head coach Chelsea Spencer couldn’t have asked for a better start for her team. Players have hinted that their coach has been as amped-up as anyone during the season, especially after the Mary Nutter sweep.
“(Spencer) is definitely one of the most energetic coaches I’ve ever played for,” Medellin said. “Sometimes I feel like she’s also a player … She’s very spunky, very loud, just very out there.”
Spencer has done an excellent job at guiding this team to 14 wins.
Forgotten in the Bears’ success is the fact that they’re yet to play at home in Berkeley. This Friday’s game against Miami Ohio, hosted at Stanford, will be the blue and gold’s first game outside of Southern California this year.
Softball in Berkeley is no fluke. The Bears have the record, words and energy to prove it.
“I’m really proud of our team and I think that we’re all really proud of each other and we’re just really excited for the rest of the season,” Teperson said.
The blue and gold turn their attention to the DeMarini Invitational, which begins March 3.