NCAA

Cal downs Oregon 6-3, advances to semis

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Cal downs Oregon 6-3, advances to semis

OKLAHOMA CITY - With its back against the wall in an elimination game, the California softball team came out firing on all cylinders - defeating Pac-12 foe Oregon on Saturday evening to keep the Golden Bears' Women's College World Series dreams alive.

Jace Williams started things with a bang in the first, driving in three runs by homering to center. Britt Vonk followed suit with a two-run double to right in the second for Cal to pull ahead 5-0. Sam Pappas cut Cal's lead to four with a solo shot in the third. Victoria Jones answered right back, smashing the first pitch of the fourth to left, putting the Bears up 6-1. A bases-loaded, one-out double by Sara Goodrum in the sixth made it a 6-3 ballgame.

It was all about working powerfully and efficiently with two outs for the Bears in the first two innings for all five of their runs came with two outs on the board.

After being two-hit against Oklahoma the day before, forcing the Bears to head to the loser's bracket, Cal responded in resilient fashion by out hitting the Ducks 9-6. Across the four games against Oregon this season, Cal went 3-1 and rocked the Oregon pitching staff for a grand total of six homers.

Top of the First - Cal 3, Oregon 0:

Britt Vonk singled to short, Frani Echavarria walked and the Golden Bear pair advanced to third and second, respectively, on a wild pitch. On a 2-2 count with two away, Jace Williams sent her eighth homer of the year to center.

Top of the Second - Cal 5, Oregon 0:

It was a slight mirror image with Danielle Henderson and Jamia Reid reaching - both on singles - and then moving to third and second on a passed ball. Again with two outs, Britt Vonk put the ball less than a foot fair down the right-field line for a two-run double.

Bottom of the Third - Cal 5, Oregon 1:

Samantha Pappas launched her second homer of the day - with the first coming against Tennessee - to get Oregon on the scoreboard.

Top of the Fourth - Cal 6, Oregon 1:

Victoria Jones knocked out her third home run of the year with a powerful shot to the left-field stands.

Bottom of the Sixth - Cal 6, Oregon 3:

With the bases loaded, Sara Goodrum singled to the wall in left, plating Kailie Cuico and Christie Nieto. A defensive gem by Jace Williams and Victoria Jones shut things down with a double play.
Next Time on the Diamond:

Cal must beat Alabama twice on Sunday to earn a spot in the championship final. First pitch between the Bears and Crimson Tide is set for 2:30 p.m. CT Sunday, following the ASU-Oklahoma game. Should the Sun Devils beat the Sooners in that game, they force the "if necessary" game, which will begin at 6 p.m. If Oklahoma wins the first game, the Sooners eliminate the Sun Devils and the Cal-Bama "if necessary" game will start at 6 p.m.

Courtesy University of California media services

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

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AP

Louisville has 'effectively fired' head coach Rick Pitino

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — Louisville has placed coach Rick Pitino and athletic director Tom Jurich on administrative leave amid a federal bribery investigation.

Jurich is on paid leave, while Pitino is on unpaid leave. The coach’s attorney, Steve Spence, told the Courier-Journal Wednesday that Louisville has “effectively fired” Pitino.

Pitino’s exit comes after the school acknowledged on Tuesday that the men’s program is part of a federal investigation into alleged bribery of recruits. The 65-year-old coach was not named in the indictment that resulted in the arrest of 10 people including four assistant coaches at other schools and an Adidas executive.

It is the latest black eye for the Cardinals program. Pitino and Louisville are in the middle of appealing NCAA sanctions following an embarrassing sex scandal.

Jurich has supported Pitino through his transgressions during the athletic director’s nearly 20-year tenure at the university.

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

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AP

Cal fights USC into fourth quarter, can't complete the upset

BOX SCORE

BERKELEY -- Stephen Carr ran for a fourth-quarter touchdown two plays after Southern California's defense forced one of its six turnovers and the fifth-ranked Trojans won their 13th straight game, 30-20 over California on Saturday.

USC (4-0, 2-0 Pac-12) has dominated the series with its in-state rival by winning 14 straight against the Golden Bears (3-1, 0-1), but this was one of the tightest matchups in years as the game was tied early in the fourth quarter.

Sam Darnold threw for 223 yards and two touchdowns for the Trojans but also had an interception and was under pressure for much of the day.

It was the defense that stepped up for USC, intercepting a pass from Ross Bowers in the first quarter to set up a field goal and then delivering the big play early in the fourth quarter after Chase McGrath gave the Trojans a 16-13 lead with his third field goal of the game.

Josh Fatu knocked the ball out of Bowers' hand and Uchenna Nwosu recovered the fumble at the 3. Carr ran it in two plays later from the 2 to make it 23-13.

Ykili Ross then intercepted Bowers' pass on the next possession, setting up Darnold's 4-yard TD pass to Deontay Burnett that put away the game.

Bowers finished 22 for 50 for 303 yards with one touchdown, four interceptions and two lost fumbles.

THE TAKEAWAY

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: The Trojans struggled for much of the game without starting RB Ronald Jones (ankle) and WR Steven Mitchell (groin) but managed to pull away late in their first road game of the season.

CALIFORNIA: The Bears used an improved defense to start 3-0 under first-year coach Justin Wilcox but this was supposed to be the test of how far they had come. Cal showed plenty by sticking with a national title contender for three quarters. A sequence on the opening drive of the second will haunt the Bears. Patrick Laird dropped a potential TD in the end zone and Matt Anderson then missed a 29-yard field goal that kept the game tied at 13.

POLL IMPLICATIONS

A win against an unranked team should do little to alter USC's poll position.

UP NEXT

SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 18 Washington State on Friday.

CALIFORNIA: Visits No. 24 Oregon on Saturday.