Softball Drops Game With Top-Ranked Arizona, 10-2

April 26, 2003

CORVALLIS, Ore. - Top-ranked University of Arizona used a big fifth inning to pull away and knock off Oregon State, 10-2, in Saturday's Pacific-10 Conference softball action.

Arizona improved to 44-4 on the season and 13-1 in the Pac-10 while the Beavers fell to 29-23 overall and 3-11 in conference action.

The Wildcats jumped in front early with a pair of runs in the opening inning. Back-to-back infield singles by Autumn Champion and Courtney Fossatti set-up Mackenzie Vandergeest's RBI double to left field. UA took advantage of a misplayed ball to add a second run in the frame.

Clare Burnum led-off the Beaver half of the inning with a double off the wall in right field but was stranded as Arizona hurler Wendy Allen settled in.

OSU starter Dena DuBois retired seven of the next eight batters she faced, but back-to-back two-out doubles in the third inning by Allen and Erin Palomarez helped Arizona extend its lead to 4-0.

For the third straight inning the Beavers had the lead-off batter reach base, when Shannon Sorg hit a bloop single to center field, but for the third straight inning OSU was unable to capitalize.

The Wildcats added another run on three hits in the top of the fourth to push the lead to 5-0, but the Beavers wouldn't let their opportunities fall to the wayside again in the bottom of the frame.

Oregon State used three consecutive singles to open the fourth inning and get on the board. Senior Shelly Prochaska started things off with a single that ricocheted off third base and Kelly Petersen followed with a shot to center field. Freshman Vanessa Iapala then connected on a single down the left field line that plated Prochaska.

OSU added another run, making the score 5-2, on a smart base running play by Petersen. Arizona attempted to turn a double play on Lisa Allen's grounder to second base but Allen beat the throw to first and Petersen scored from second on the play, beating a throw to the plate.

The Wildcats closed out the contest in the following inning by scoring five runs on six hits and capitalizing on an Oregon State error.

'It was disappointing because we had the opportunity to shut down some of their rallies and we didn't,' said OSU head coach Kirk Walker. 'They have a great offense and you can't always defend hits, but hopefully you can minimize their run production with solid defense.'

DuBois fell to 2-4 on the season with the loss but of the 10 runs scored by Arizona, only six were earned.

'It was nice to get runs on the board,' said Walker. 'But offensively we could have been more productive - we left a lot of runners on base.'

The Beavers and Wildcats conclude the season series on Sunday at 1 p.m.

GAME RESULTS:
No. 1 Arizona - 202 15 - 10 15 0
Oregon State - 000 20 - 2 5 2
DuBois and Prochaska (OSU), Allen and Vandergeest (UA). WP - Allen (12-1). LP - DuBois (2-4). 2B - Vandergeest (UA), Burnum (OSU), Allen, 2 (UA). SB - Burnum (OSU), Ribellia (UA), Champion (UA).

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