Cal squeaks past Illinois State

IOWA CITY, Iowa — Senior Kristina Thorson struck out 14 and pitched a four-hitter as top-seeded Cal slipped past fourth-seeded Illinois State in the opener of the Iowa City Regional in the NCAA Division I softball tournament Friday.

Cal (45-12) faces second-seeded Nebraska (43-10), a 1-0 winner in 10 innings over third-seeded Iowa (39-20), today at noon. The winner advances to Sunday’s championship round and would have to be beaten twice.

Senior Haley Woods, the school’s all-time RBI leader, provided all the offense Cal would need with her first-inning RBI single. Junior Alex Sutton led off the bottom of the first with a single to left field, advanced to second on a wild pitch and moved to third on senior Lindsay James’ sacrifice bunt.

Thorson earned her 33rd win of the season tied the school record set by Michelle Granger in 1991. While extending her scoreless innings streak to 27, she surpassed the 400-strikeout mark for the season with her first whiff of the game and has 1,024 in her career.

STANFORD 8,

TULSA 0 (5 innings)

FRESNO — The Cardinal (39-15) broke open a tight game by scoring seven runs in the bottom of the fifth to invoke the mercy rule in the Fresno Regional. Stanford will face Fresno State (36-17), a 2-0 winner over Cal State Fullerton (36-23), in today’s 2:30 p.m. game. The Stanford-Fresno State winner will advance to Sunday’s championship round and must be beaten twice not to advance to the super regionals.

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