Miami opens series versus Cal with a W


Photo by Caroline Evans

Kate Kobayashi with a double against Cal.

By By Caroline Evans

Friday night lights never felt so good in Oxford as the Miami RedHawks (27-13) took on PAC 12 power University of California (25-19) in a marquee matchup April 22. The RedHawks beat the visiting Golden Bears 6-5 to secure their third win in a row.

Cal came out hot, loading the bases in the 1st inning after three of their four opening batters reached base safely with only one out. Miami gave up two walks and an error, helping the Golden Bears score four early runs. 

Miami regrouped in the bottom of the first, cutting the deficit in half. Karli Spaid’s triple to right, brought home Allie Cummins for the RedHawks’ first run. Holly Blaska’s single to right field drove Spaid home to account for Miami’s second run.

“Everyone knows no matter what, they don’t have to get down. If they score four runs, we come back and chip away. I don’t have to motivate them in that sense because they know they can hit and all they have to do is do that.” Head Coach Kiran Kumar said after the game.

The RedHawks offensive attack carried over into the second inning as Chloe Parks had an RBI double to left field and then advanced to third on a wild pitch. Cummins followed up with an RBI single to bring home Parks. Cummins advanced to third thanks to two more wild pitches, eventually crossing home plate on a line drive to center field by Spaid giving Miami a 6-4 lead. Miami’s scoring spree forced California head coach Chelsea Spencer to pull starting pitcher Haylei Archer. 

We all had each other’s backs. We usually rely on Courtney for some strikeouts in this game, (but) it didn’t matter,” Miami outfielder Kate Kobayashi said. 

During the bottom of the sixth inning, freshman outfielder Jenna Golembiewski crushed a fastball out to left center that looked sure to be an extra base hit. Yet, Cal center-fielder Amani Bradley had other ideas and made a diving catch to keep her team within one run at 6-5.

 “We were kind of shifted on her, so I had to hustle my way to the opposite side to try and make a play. Annabelle was pitching a great game and just wanted to back her up. We were down by one and I was trying to get the least people on base to come back and win.” Bradley said postgame. From there, Miami held on to preserve the 6-5 win.

The Friday night game was the first match in a three game home series against Cal. The RedHawks won the second game on Saturday, 7-5, and tied the Sunday game 8-8, which was called after eight innings so Cal could still catch its flight home.