The California softball program, which in 2012 finished 58-7 and placed third at the Women's Softball College World Series and hosted its first playoff games since 1993, will continued to enjoy national exposure as the Diane Ninemire's Bears will be featured on television a whopping 10 times during the 2013 season. Cal will be shown eight times on the Pac-12 Networks and two times on ESPNU during the 2013 regular season campaign, led by returning ace pitcher Jolene Henderson and her power-hitting little sister Danielle Henderson, along with Dutch national team star Britt Vonk.
[Read the full 2013 schedule HERE]
After competing in six tournaments in the early spring, the Bears' home schedule features 15 games at Levine-Fricke Field, including hosting Northern Colorado at 3 p.m. on March 19 for the season opener. Cal will also be entertaining four Pac-12 opponents, beginning with a March 22-24 series versus Utah. Other home conference series include Oregon (April 6-7), Oregon State (April 19-21) and Bay Area rival Stanford (May 3-5).
The softball games slated for television include a March 23 contest versus the Utes (12 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), an April 2 doubleheader at Arizona (12:30 p.m. and 3 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), April 7 versus Oregon (1 p.m., Pac-12 Networks), two games at conference rival UCLA (April 11, 8 p.m. ESPNU; April 12, 5 p.m. Pac-12 Networks), April 26 at Arizona State (7 p.m. ESPNU), May 5 versus the Cardinal (3 p.m., Pac-12 Networks) and May 10-11 at Washington (7 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively, on Pac-12 Networks) -- the same team which the Bears beat back in the Berkeley Super Regional to advance to the Women's College World Series last May.
Cal softball spent the majority of the 2012 season ranked No. 1 in the nation and won its second-ever conference title with a 21-3 league record, and its conference crown first since 1987. The Bears earned the No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament and hosted postseason play under temporary lights at Levine-Fricke Field, playing to sold-out crowds every night.
After falling to Arkansas in the second game of the Berkeley Regional, Cal won its next five games to advance to its second-straight WCWS. In Oklahoma City, the Bears went 2-2 and advanced to the national semifinals.
Ninemire has now led Cal to 25 straight postseason appearances and 10 WCWS berths, including winning the 2002 national title. She has compiled an 1117-516 (.684) overall record since 1988.