Wildcats Lose Heartbreaker To Cal In 12 Innings
May 25, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY - Chelsea Spencer got the key hit in a narrow 12-inning ,three-hour game, giving California a 2-1 victory over top-ranked Arizonaand forcing a second semifinal game later in the day in the Women's CollegeWorld Series, to see which team will play in the national title game Monday.
The two teams were scheduled to play at 6:30 p.m., but the length of thefirst game was likely to push that back a bit.
Cal's rally started with a leadoff single by Courtney Scott, a walk byVeronica Nelson and a wild pitch by Alicia Hollowell. After a pop-out,Kaleo Eldredge drew a walk to load the bases. Spencer then laced a 2-1pitch past third base for the winning hit.
The teams stranded a combined 25 runners, with 15 left on base by Cal and10 by Arizona -- though Cal had three on when the winning run scored.
It was the most innings played this year for both teams and both Calpitcher Kelly Anderson (22-11) and UA's Hollowell (40-4) went the distance.Hollowell walked a career-high seven, struck out 15. Anderson struck outeight and walked four.
Hollowell created a jam for herself in the first by dropping a ground ballfor an error to let Vicky Galindo aboard. Lindsay James sacrificed Galindoto second and after the second out, Cal home run hitter Veronica Nelson wasissued an intentional walk. Haley Woods flied out to center with a drivethat was held up by a stiff wind to end the inning.
Her shaky start continued in the second inning, with a leadoff walk toKaleo Eldredge and a sac bunt by Chelsea Spencer. After the second out,Hollowell walked No. 9 hitter Kristen Morley but got Galindo on a rollerback to the box to thwart the threat.
Meantime, Cal starter Kelly Anderson struck out the Cats' leadoff hittereach of the first three innings in tossing no-hit ball, allowing only LovieJung to reach base, on a walk in the first.
In the bottom of the third, Hollowell struck out side in the heart ofCal's order, though did issue a second intentional pass to Nelson.
The Cats turned to the short game themselves to take 1-0 lead in thefourth. Courtnet Fossatti tried to bunt herself aboard but was thrown out.Jung drew a walk and cleanup hitter Mackenzie Vandergeest hit a sacrificebunt to moved her to second. Wendy Allen fouled off four pitches with twostrikes before doubling a 3-2 pitch to right-center for the RBI and the lead.
The Bears answered, though, getting their first hits off Hollowell whenEldredge singled to left-center and Spencer ripped a single down theleftfield line to open the Cal fourth. But Hollowell dug in and struck outErin Manahan, Morley and Galindo.
Arizona threatened to blow the game open in the top of the fifth, withone-out consecutive singles by Lisha Ribellia, Crystal Farley and AutumnChampion -- her first hit in nine Series at-bats -- but Anderson gotFossatti on a called third strike and Lovie Jung to ground back to thecircle, stranding three runners.
Again the the seventh, Arizona had a good chance to score after two errorsput runners on first and third. Jung hit a liner to the right-center gapbut the wind held it up for Kristen Bayless to track it down for the thirdout.
California staged a seventh-inning rally to tie the game, fueled by anerror by All-American Lovie Jung at shortstop. Hollowell struck out leadoffhitter Kristen Morley, but Galindo reached on Jung's error. Lindsay Jamessingled her to second, and Courtney Scott drove her in with a single tocenter. Hollowell struck out Nelson and got a grounder to end the rally,stranding two.
Both pitchers retired the sides in order in the next three innings untilit took a superb defensive play by UA to avoid the loss in the 10th. Cal'sHaley Woods singled off the centerfield fence with two outs in the inning.Eldredge then drove a liner down the leftfield line that Champion dropped,but recovered to throw to Jung for a relay to cut Woods at the plate forthe third out.
NOTES... Three of Hollowell's walks were intentionally to Nelson, who'sreceived 42 intentional walks among 101 overall... The hits by Allen,Champion and Ribellia were their first-ever in WCWS play... Hollowell haddouble-digit strikeouts for the third consecutive Series game and 15thoverall this year... The extra-inning game was only Arizona's second of theseason. UA beat Oregon State, 6-4, in 11 innings at Corvallis on April 27.The Bears longest previous game this season was a 1-0 loss to Arizona Stateon May 4 in nine innings...
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