Berkeley – On Monday, the Bears close out opening weekend with another double header (2 p.m. and 4 p.m.) with the hosting and 15th ranked Ragin’ Cajuns of Louisiana Lafayette. Both games will be streamed on RaginCajuns.com. The series reignites a matchup that hasn’t seen action since 1999, when the Bears won 8-1.
The week will set the stage for Cal’s following week at the St. Pete/Clearwater ESPN Invitational where it’ll face four top-25 opponents.
The Bears are confident in the experience of its senior corps which returns both aces Kamalani Dung (1.96 ERA) and Zoe Conley(2.25), who led the conference and became Cal’s record holder with seven saves in a season in 2018. Lindsay Rood, Cal’s top run scorer, hitter and the Pac-12’s stolen base leader, is set to lead off the lineup in her final season and will likely move up in the all-time career charts in several categories this season. Rood also led the Bears in doubles (16) and led The Conference in triples (8).
A five-tooler, Rood’s pressure of opposing defenses will be supported by sophomore Mikayla Coelho, who had a standout freshman campaign. Last season, Coelho led the Bears in homers (7) and RBIs (36), marking the first time a freshman has guided the team in both categories since two-time All-American Veronica Nelson did in 2000.
Confident in several newcomers who will likely appear in the starting nine, head coach Diane Ninemire believes the team is poised to battle through a tough preseason schedule to set the Bears up for more success in conference play, after being voted to finished fifth in the league this season.