#3 California Softball Preview

California Golden Bears

Overall Rank: #3
Conference Rank: #1 Pac-12
California College Softball Top 44 Team Preview
California Team Page


Ranked No. 1 the majority of last season, the Golden Bears placed third in the NCAA Women’s College World Series, finishing the year 58-7 and 21-3 in the Pac-12.  The Golden Bears will appear on TV 10 times during the 2013 season, eight on the Pac-12 Network and twice on ESPNU. A 1980 graduate of the University of Nebraska-Omaha, Head Coach Diane  Ninemire is one of nine coaches to have achieved 1,000 wins. She has an overall record of 1,117 wins and 516 losses for a winning percentage of .684 since taking the reins in 1988. The Golden Bears open the season in the Kajikawa Tourney in Tempe, AZ on February 8th.

2012: 58-7, 21-3
2012 Postseason: NCAA
Coach: Diane Ninemire
Field Players:
The Golden Bears return 12 letter winners including six starters from the 2012 team. Big losses, however, include Jamia Reid, Valerie Arioto, and Fran Echavarria.  Reid led the team in batting (.378), scored 54 runs, and stole 51 bases in 55 attempts. She finished her career at Cal with 177 stolen bases in 199 attempts. Arioto, a first baseman/pitcher, won the Lowe’s CLASS Award and batted .365 with 23 homers and 60 RBI.  She was also outstanding backing up Henderson on the mound. She was one of the top double-threat players in softball. She fashioned 20-3 mound record with 1.32 ERA. The top player returning is shortstop Britt Vonk, who batted .342 after hitting .415 her freshman season. Also back are Victoria Jones (.311), Breanna Kostreba (.294, 13 homers, 42 RBI) and Jolene Henderson’s younger sister, Danielle (.283, 16 homers and 47 RBI).

Jolene Henderson returns for her senior year after compiling a record of 38-4 last season with a 1.29 ERA. She fanned 332 batters in 282.1 innings while hurling 17 shutouts. She is already second in career wins and will overtake career leader Michele Granger (119) sometime during the season. Henderson wears 54 (her Dad’s football jersey number) and says she is “strong, caring, determined and controlled like him”. Other pitchers on team include Vanessa Alvarez, who will also play outfield and Taylor Lee, a 5-9 freshman.

Who to Watch:
The pitching staff needs depth because Henderson will be expected to shoulder the majority of the mound work until other pitchers develop.

Final Projection:
The Golden Bears will have another solid team but how the freshmen develop, especially the pitchers, will help determine how much success they have in 2013 and whether they earn their 13th trip to the Women’s College World Series.

Projected Postseason: NCAA Softball Tournament

Returning Leaders:
At Bats: Danielle Henderson 3B/C, 166; Cheyenne Cordes IF/OF, 166
Hits: Britt Vonk, SS, 55
Home Runs: Danielle Henderson, 3B/C, 16
RBIs: Danielle Henderson, 3B/C, 47
Runs: Cheyenne Cordes, IF/OF,38; Britt Vonk, SS, 38
Stolen Bases: Britt Vonk, SS, 13

Wins: Jolene Henderson, P, 38
Innings Pitched: Jolene Henderson, P, 282.1
Strikeouts: Jolene Henderson, P, 332
Saves: Jolene Henderson, P, 4

Madness 2013 NPF Draft Rankings:
#2 Joelene Henderson

Madness 2013 Softball Recruit Rankings:
#23 Nisa Ontiveros
#77 Vanessa Alvarez
#78 Khala Taylor
#112 Jasmin Mejia


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