Softball Hands Top-Ranked Arizona First Loss Of Season

March 21, 2004

FULLERTON, Calif.- Aimee Minor's second home run of the day, a one-out, two-run shot to left field, gave No. 9 Washington (22-6) a 7-6 lead and the Huskies held off top-ranked Arizona to win the 2004 Kia Klassic Championship at Cal State Fullerton on Sunday afternoon.

The Huskies claimed their second Kia Klassic title, last winning the tournament in 2000. Arizona was handed its first loss of the season after starting the year 34-0.

Minor gave the Huskies the early lead with her two-run blast on the fourth pitch of the game. Kristen Rivera added a third run with an RBI single down the left field line to make it 3-0. Washington continued to pour it on in the fourth, thanks to a two-run double by Minor to give the Huskies a seemingly insurmountable 5-0 lead.

However, Arizona answered back with its first two runs in the fourth on a home run by Mackenzie Vandergeest, cutting the deficit to 5-2.

With Ashley Boek out of the game to start the fifth, Tia Bollinger entered in relief and the Wildcats capitalized. Arizona loaded the bases in the fifth on three consecutive one-out infield singles, and scored when Wendy Allen drew a full-count walk to make it 5-3.

Vandergeest then followed with a two-run single through the left side to tie the game at 5-5 and Arizona took the lead when Kristie Fox then hit a pop up just betweenWashington's first and second basemen, allowing Allen to score for the 6-5 lead.

However Minor wasn't done for Washington, slamming a 1-1 pitch from Leslie Wolfe over the left field fence to give the Huskies the lead for good.

Boek then reentered the game in the seventh and it wasn't without drama. Allen singled and was pinch-run for by Allyson Von Lichtenstein. Vandergeest then followed with a high fly ball that fell in between the outfielders to put runners on first and second with one out.

That would be all Boek would need as she struck out Fox and Jackie Coburn to end the game and earn her first save of the year. Bollinger (9-3) got the win despite allowing four runs on five hits. Wolfe suffered the loss, allowing two runs on four hits in three innings.

Minor finished the game with a 3-for-3 performance, including six of Washington's seven RBIs.

The Huskies will stay in California through March 26, playing five games during their spring break. Washington opens the week with a double header at Loyola Marymount on Tuesday, March 23.

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