OKLAHOMA CITY -- The Cal softball team extended its 2012 season Saturday night, defeating Oregon 6-3 at the Women's College World Series. Two home runs propelled the Golden Bears before a WCWS-record crowd of 9,310.
Cal's offense had struggled mightily Friday in a loss to Oklahoma, but the top-seeded Bears came out Saturday playing up to their No. 1 ranking.
The Golden Bears (58-6) advanced to face second-seeded Alabama (57-7) at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday on ESPN, and must defeat the Crimson Tide twice in order to advance to the best-of-three championship series, which starts Monday.
Saturday, Jace Williams hit a three-run homer, her eighth of the season, in the top of the first inning to set the tone for a team playing to stay alive in the national championship hunt.
Britt Vonk added two RBIs with a double in the top of the second inning, and Victoria Jones put her third home run of the season over the left-field fence as Cal surged to a 6-1 lead. Seven of the Bears' nine starters had at least one hit.
Vonk went 2 for 4, the only Cal player with multiple hits.
Cal ace Jolene Henderson, who spent most of the Oklahoma game pitching out of jams, was able to handle the familiar Oregon lineup. Henderson struck out nine and allowed six hits. The Ducks' only run came on Samantha Pappas' home run in the third inning.
Oregon made one last stand in the bottom of the sixth. Sara Goodrum hit a two-run double to left after the Ducks loaded the bases with one out. Lindsey Chambers then popped out to second baseman Williams on the edge of the outfield grass, and Alexa Peterson broke from third base for the plate when Williams' throw home went astray.
Catcher Victoria Jones was able to corral the bounce off the backstop and cut down Peterson at the plate for the final out of the inning, holding Cal's lead at three runs.
"The play of the game that showed the heart of this team is the play that Victoria made at home," Cal coach Diane Ninemire said.
Henderson (38-3) retired the Ducks in order in the seventh to close out the victory.
If Cal wins the first game against Alabama, the second game will be at either 4 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. on ESPNU. The start time will depend upon the outcome of Sunday's Arizona State-Oklahoma game. If Oklahoma wins the early game, a second Cal-Alabama game would be at 4 p.m.
Cal (58-6) vs. Alabama (57-7), 12:30 p.m. ESPN