OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — Kristina Thorson hurled a two-hitter as California brought an end to the opening day of action at the Women’s College World Series with a 4-2 win over Florida State.
"I thought it was an outstanding game for us. Getting down by two runs in the first inning was a little disappointing," Cal head coach Diane Ninemire said. "I was really proud of the team's effort after they fell behind to come back and fight like they always have."
2004 USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year Jessica van der Linden provided the only source of offense for the Seminoles (61-11) as she hit a two-run home run in the opening frame to put FSU on top 2-0.
"I thought we got in trouble in the first inning and Jess (van der Linden) got us out of it," FSU head coach JoAnne Graf said. "She hit that two-run home run and I thought at that point that we had our momentum going pretty good. I told the team a few minutes ago that everyone has to pick it up at the bat. We were never really out of the ballgame. We didn't make it happen at the plate."
The lead was short-lived, however, as California (50-12) exploded for three runs in the third. Those runs would prove to be all Thorson would need as she retired 20 of the last 21 batters she faced to pick up the win and move her record to 28-3.
The sophomore for Cal struck out 12 and walked just one as she went the distance. Van der Linden was struck for all four runs as she allowed a season-high nine hits to drop her record to 28-8.
The scoring in the decisive third came from an RBI single from Kaleo Eldredge and a double from Jessica Pamanian that scored Eldredge and Haley Woods.
The Golden Bears added an insurance run the following inning as Roni Rodrigues hit a solo home run to center field.
Cal advances to take on Oklahoma Friday at 6 p.m. The Seminoles take on Washington in an elimination game Saturday at 3 p.m.
Notes from the Diamond
- Jessica van der Linden’s two-run home run delivered her 54th and 55th RBIs of the season, setting the school record for single-season RBIs.
- Cal recorded a double, triple and home run in the game, marking the only time this season van der Linden has give up more than two extra-base hits in a game.
- Vicky Galindo extended her hitting streak to nine games with her leadoff double. That double was her 18th of the season, and it ties the school’s single-season mark.
- Cal pitcher Kristina Thorson has won her last 10 decisions, including a perfect 4-0 mark in regional play.