Top-ranked Softball And No. 8 Washington Split Doubleheader To End Regular Season

May 10, 2003

TUCSON, Ariz. - Top-ranked Arizona and No. 8 Washington struggled to outlast eachother in the second game of a doubleheader and it took a walk-off grandslam by Jackie Coburn in the bottom of the seventh to give the Wildcats a21-17 victory and salvage a split.

The game featured 38 total hits incluuding seven home runs, two by Coburnand two by UW's Kristen Rivera. At the end, Coburn socked her blast off UWpitcher Dena Tyson -- the starting left fielder and sixth Husky to pitch inthe game.

Tyson entered in relief after Traci Tawney walked two batters to open theinning, including an intentional pass for UA home run leader Lovie Jung.Tyson walked Mackenzie Vandergeest before Coburn's homer.

UA first baseman Shelly Shultz won in relief in her first-ever pitchingappearance. She threw two-plus innings and held UW to only one run on fourhits.

The game was the highest scoring game in UA history, eclipsing a 29-0victory over Bowling Green in 2001. The Husky scoring output is also anopponent high.

Washington dumped Arizona with a power display, 7-1, in the opener, andhad Arizona on the ropes at 10-5 in the second game at one point.

Arizona finished the regular season 50-5 and 19-2 in league action and isan expected top seed in the NCAA tournament as the automatic qualifier fromthe Pac-10. UW finished 42-14-1 overall and 9-12 in conference play forfifth place. Washington is a likely at-large selection for the NCAAtournament.

A number of rallies in the game saved UA from losing their firstdoubleheader since Washington won two over the Cats on May 11 last year,also the final day of the regular season.

The Huskies had 34 hits on the night while Arizona collected a more modest26.

Jaime Clark's two-run home run staked the Huskies to a 2-0 lead in thefirst inning of the nightcap.

UA took the lead with one hit off UW starter Ashley Boek in the bottom ofthe inning. Three players walked, and Jackie Coburn snaked a two-run doubledown the rightfield line to tie the score. After reloading the bases with awalk by Erin Palomarez, Mackenzie Vandergeest beat the throw to home onLisha Ribellia's fielder's choice to give UA the lead, 3-2.

It was short-lived, as the Huskies batted around in the second. AimeeMinor led off the UW second with a double, and scored on an RBI single byAmanda Oleson to tie the game. Then after a single by Rita Roach, Clarksingled in Oleson to re-gain the lead, and Kristen Rivera lined a three-runhome run to make it 7-3.

Arizone fought back, cutting it to 7-5 on a two-run single by JackieCoburn in the bottom of the inning. But Washington poured it on with athree-run fourth to take a 10-5 lead, but UA put together a nine-run rallyin the bottom of the inning, keyed by three-run home runs by Crystal Farleyand Jackie Coburn.

Washington scored six runs in the top of the fifth inning, sparked byRivera's second home run of the game, a two-run shot, and a two-run singleby Minor to post a 16-14 lead. UA went to its bench to use first basemanShelly Shultz in the pitching circle for her first collegiate appearance torecord the last out of the inning

Arizona tied the game at 16-16 in the bottom of the inning with an RBIsingle by Wendy Allen and an unearned run on a throwing error byWashington's third pitcher, Minor.

Erin Palomarez hit the first homer of her career with one out in the UAsixth to give the Cats the 17-16 lead, but in the top of the seventh adouble by Kathy Fiske and an RBI single by Sarah Hyatt knotted the score.

Washington collected 13 hits including a couple of home runs, and whippedUA, 7-1, in the first game.

Huskies pitcher Tia Bollinger (24-9) held Arizona off balance and unableto make the most of its nine hits.

Kristen Rivera singled in an unearned run in the first to stake UW to a1-0 lead after Roach hit a bunt single and reached second on a throwingerror by UA pitcher Wendy Allen (12-2)

UA stranded three runners in the first, had runners on the corners in thethird and had the bases loaded in the fourth but couldn't get a key hit offBollinger (24-9). A diving catch by centerfielder Rita Roach in the sixthhelped UW double off a UA runner at third to squelch another scoringopportunity.

Dena Tyson hit Allen's first pitch in the second inning over the leftfield fence to make it 2-0 for the Huskies, who also threatened with thebases loaded and two outs in the third but came up empty.

Shortstop Jaime Clark followed singles by Amanda Oleson and Rita Roachwith her 13th home run of the year to make it 5-0 in the top of the fourth.

Arizona got its lone run with a sacrifice fly by Jackie Coburn after LovieJung singled, moved to second on a ground-out and to third on a wild pitch.

UW made it 7-1 with a two-run single by Fiske in the sixth inning.

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