No. 6 Softball Stuns No. 2 Arizona With A Doubleheader Sweep To End Pac-10 Play

May 11, 2002

SEATTLE - The sixth-ranked Washington softball team used great pitching and timely hitting to surprise second-ranked Arizona Saturday with a doubleheader sweep, 3-1 and 3-2, in front of 1,277 fans at Husky Softball Stadium. With the wins, the Huskies finished third in the Pac-10 for the second straight season, moving to 44-16 overall and 13-8 in conference play. The Wildcats, meanwhile, dropped their second and third straight games to fall to 48-10 overall and 15-6 in the Pac-10.

In the first game, the UW pushed across one run in the first when catcher Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.) singled to left field with the bases loaded to drive in senior Becky Simpson (Tumwater, Wash.), who started the inning with an infield single. Arizona answered in the top of the third as Jennie Finch drilled a two-out double into the gap in right-center field as Courtney Fossatti came home with the tying run from second base.

The 1-1 tie would not remain for long as the Huskies once again loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half of the third inning against Wildcat pitcher Jenny Gladding (19-6). UW freshman Kathy Fiske (Temecula, Calif.) then came through with what proved to be the game-winning hit, doubling to right-center to score sophomore Rita Roach (Norwalk, Calif.) and freshman Kristen Rivera (Perris, Calif.), giving the team the 3-1 advantage.

UW freshman pitcher Leslie Scott (Edmond, Okla.) kept the Wildcats off balance all game long. Scott, making her first start since March 24, gave up just four hits, while striking out six before giving way to sophomore Tia Bollinger (Santa Ana, Calif.) with two outs and a runner on first in the seventh. Bollinger, after giving up a single to Lovieanne Jung, settled down to get Fossatti to pop out to Fiske at third base for the final out.

Washington continued to carry its momentum into game two, capitalizing on two Arizona errors to score all three of its runs in the first inning. Roach started the rally by reaching base via a hit by pitch, before moving over to third base when Wildcat Jackie Coburn misfired her throw for the force out at second base on Jaime Clark's (Tustin, Calif.) fielder's choice.

The next batter, sophomore Amanda Oleson (Agoura Hills, Calif.), then tripled off Arizona ace Finch (29-4) to drive in both Clark and Roach. Oleson later scored the third run when Fiske's grounder went through the legs of Jung at shortstop.

Arizona made the game interesting in a hurry when first baseman Leneah Manuma blasted a two-run home run to right field to also score Fossatti, getting to within one run at 2-3.

UW starting pitcher Ashley Boek (Redding, Calif.) kept the Wildcats off the basepaths for the most part in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, allowing just one hit, while retiring the side in order twice. Bollinger, however, replaced Boek, in the top of the seventh when Arizona's Crystal Farley reached on a Husky fielding error. The next batter, Lovieanne Jung, got on base on a bunt to put runners at first and second with no outs before Fossatti bounced into a fielder's choice force out at third base.

Despite some tense moments, Bollinger retired the next two batters, Finch and Manuma, on consecutive ground balls back to her to preserve the 3-2 victory. Bollinger, who earned two saves on the day, broke the school record for saves in a season with seven, while Boek moved to 18-2 overall in 2002 with eight strikeouts on the day.

With the pair of wins, Washington claimed sole possession of third place in the Pac-10, edging fourth place California (12-9) for the school's ninth straight, top-four finish in conference play after beginning with a seventh in the program's inaugural season in 1993.

The Huskies will find out their destiny in NCAA Regional play this Sunday at 6 p.m. Forty-eight teams will qualify to play in eight, six-team regionals around the country, May 16-19. The winners of each double-elimination regional will head to the College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla., May 23-27.

Saturday, May 11, 2002 -
#6 Washington vs. #2 Arizona (Husky Softball Stadium) - Game One

Score By Innings R H E
Arizona 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 1 5 0
UW 1 0 2 0 0 0 X 3 7 1

E - Clark LOB - UW 6, Arizona 7 2B - Finch, Fiske
WP - Leslie Scott (7-5) LP - Jenny Gladding (19-6) SV - Tia Bollinger (6)
(Scott, Bollinger (7) and Rivera; Gladding and Vandergeest)

#6 Washington vs. #2 Arizona (Husky Softball Stadium) - Game Two

Score By Innings R H E
Arizona 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 2 6 2
UW 3 0 0 0 0 0 X 3 4 2

E - Jung, Coburn, Clark 2 LOB - UW 5, Arizona 8
3B - Simpson, Oleson HR - Manuma SB - Clark
WP - Ashley Boek LP - Jennie Finch (29-4) SV - Tia Bollinger (7)
(Boek, Bollinger (7) and Rivera; Finch and Vandergeest)

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