FULLERTON, Calif. – A seven-run third inning propelled the nation's No. 2 team to an 11-3 victory as California topped East Carolina during the Pirates' first game of the DeMarini Invitational. Breana Kostreba drove in three runs and four players each scored twice for the Golden Bears (15-0). ECU's three runs were tied for the second most Cal has given up this season and the most surrendered by All-America Valerie Arioto.
Sophomores Jordan Lewis and Alex Fieldhouse provided the ECU offense as Lewis hit a two-run home run and Fieldhouse an RBI-single.
Pirate freshman Courtney Smith (2-4) retired the first six Cal batters she faced, but finished with three innings pitched, six hits, two walks and seven earned runs allowed. Classmate Sarah Christian threw the final inning, giving up four runs on three hits and a walk. Arioto (7-0) went all five frames, fanning 11 and walking one in addition to her season-high three runs and six hits surrendered.
East Carolina started quickly as sophomore Jill Jelnick sent the first pitch of the game through the left side for a single. Arioto rebounded with a pair of strikeouts and a fielder's choice to end the half inning.
The Pirates (7-7) had another scoring chance in the top of the third, getting a runner to third base. After a strikeout, sophomore Chelsea Kaluhiokalani-Glackin bounced a ball over third baseman Danielle Henderson's head and into left field for a double. Jelnick followed with a groundout to second base that advanced Kaluhiokalani-Glackin to third base, but an eight-pitch at-bat by sophomore Kristi Oshiro ended with a pop out to the second baseman to close the threat.
California registered its first base runners in the bottom of the third and struck for seven runs. Four-straight singles by Jolene Henderson, Frani Echavarria, Jamia Reid and Britt Vonk put the Golden Bears up 1-0. A bases-loaded walk to Arioto forced in a second run and a groundout by Jace Williams plated a third. Kostreba doubled to left center and drove in two runs and Cheyenne Cordes followed with a two-run home run to left field for a 7-0 California lead. Smith retired the next two batters on a lineout and fly out to end the inning.
In the top of the fourth, East Carolina answered with a pair of runs to make it a 7-2 deficit. With one out, senior Suzanne Riggs drew a walk. Following a strikeout, Lewis hit her first home run of the season, to right center. It was the initial long ball surrendered by Arioto this year. She had allowed just one earned run in 39.0 innings entering the contest.
The Golden Bears responded immediately with four runs off Christian in the bottom of the frame to take an 11-2 lead. Echavarria, Reid and Vonk tallied three consecutive singles to load the bases for Arioto, who drew another walk. A groundout by Williams and wild pitch pushed across two more runs before Kostreba ended the scoring with a second RBI-groundout. Cordes grounded out to Christian in the circle to end the frame.
ECU rallied again in the top of the fifth with one run, but the game ended due to the eight-run rule. After a strikeout started the frame, senior pinch hitter Priscilla Velasquez beat out a high chopper in front of the plate for an infield single. Jelnick then put down a bunt and Arioto did not field it cleanly, putting runners on first and second. After another Arioto strikeout, Fieldhouse picked up her second hit of the game to drive in Kaluhiokalani-Glackin, who had re-entered to run for Velasquez, but Arioto's 11th strikeout ended the contest.
East Carolina completes Saturday action with a 4:30 p.m. ET contest against Northwestern (5-10).
-- Sophomore Alex Fieldhouse joins Cal Poly's Nora Sobczak as the only players this season with a two-hit game against Valarie Arioto. Fieldhouse is the first to tally two hits and an RBI off Arioto in 2012.
-- Fieldhouse now has five multiple-hit games this season, matching the total from her freshman year.
-- Fieldhouse's 11 runs batted in this season are one less than her freshman-year mark.
-- Sophomore Jordan Lewis hit her initial home run of the season and first since May 20, 2011, at Maryland in the NCAA College Park Regional.
-- After sophomore Jill Jelnick's first at bat, she had singled in five-straight plate appearances. In the Pirates' last game, against North Dakota State, Jelnick collected a career-high four hits.
-- In Jelnick's last nine trips to the plate, she has reached base seven times.