Head Coach Roni Rivera
“I was really happy with how we came out. I think we battled from the beginning. We didn’t sit back on our heels at all. We came out and played the way we play and hung in there. I think their speed caught up to us in the fifth inning and when they have that much speed, there’s not that much room for error. I’m happy with how we did and I really want to win tomorrow. We’re going to come out tomorrow and go get it.”
BERKELEY, CA - The Iona College softball team opened up its weekend at the 2012 NCAA Regionals with an 8-0 loss to No. 1 California in five innings Friday evening at Levine-Fricke Field.
Cal scored three runs in the bottom of the first against Iona starter Sarah Jackson. Designated player Britt Vonk walked with one out on a full count. A walk to first baseman Valerie Arioto followed to put runners on first and second. After a fielder's choice put runners on the corners, Vonk scampered home after a passed ball as the Golden Bears took a 1-0 lead.
Cal's Breana Kostreba, at the plate on the passed ball, later took a 2-1 pitch from Jackson and drove it over the right center field fence for her seventh home run of the season to push the Bears' lead to 3-0.
After Jackson settled down in the circle, allowing one runner over the next three innings, the Bears would connect for five runs in the bottom of the fifth.
Centerfielder Frani Echavarria led off with a single and then scored from first when the throw to first on a grounder by left fielder Jamia Reid got away from the Gaels, allowing Reid to move all the way to third on the play. Vonk would then single to drive in Reid from third, and then went to second on an another walk to Arioto. After redshirt senior Alyssa Maiese entered the game in relief of Jackson, second baseman Jace Williams walked to load the bases. Kostreba continued her hot day at the plate with a single to center, scoring Vonk. With the bases still loaded, Maiese hit third baseman Danielle Henderson to push the Cal lead to 7-0. Echavarria, batting for the second time in the inning, drove in the game-ending run with an infield single, scoring Williams.
Cal's Jolene Henderson allowed two hits, a pair of singles by senior Allyssa James, and struck out seven in five innings of work to earn the win. Jackson took the loss, going four innings for Iona, allowing six earned runs on four hits and four walks.
Iona is back in action at the Regional Saturday afternoon at 8:00 pm when they take on Boston University in the first elimination contest of the weekend. The Terriers fell to Arkansas 3-2 in the first game of the day on Friday.