Arizona Softball Defeats Sonoma State in Exhibition Games

Jan. 25, 2002

Defending NCAA champion Arizona appeared sharp in season-opening softball action with a Friday afternoon exhibition doubleheader sweep over Sonoma State University, 15-0 and 8-0.

Senior Jennie Finch, who won the Honda Softball Award last season, threw a five-inning perfect game and struck out 12 against the Division II Cossacks in the opener, backed up by 14 hits by her teammates, including three home runs, four doubles and a triple.

Sophomore catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest hit one home run in the opener and three in game two.

Sophomore fist baseman Leneah Manuma socked the first pitch over the centerfield fence with two outs to give UA a 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first in the opener. Lovieanne Jung had led off the inning with a double to left.

The Cats pushed the lead up quickly. Jung hit a two-out, two-run triple, and after Courtney Fossatti walked Vandergeest hit a three-run home run after Courtney Fossatti walked to make it 7-0 after two innings. Fossatti, a freshman outfielder, hit a grand slam in the fourth to make it 11-0.

Jung led off the second game with a home run and Vandergeest hit two more home runs to help pace UA to a 5-0 lead after three innings. Allyson Von Liechenstein singled and stole second in the sixth, and scored on a double by Jung.

It took Sonoma State 29 plate appearances before collecting its first hit of the day. Cossacks shortstop Melissa Rosa looped a drive up the middle into center off UA sophomore pitcher Jenny Gladding in the fifth inning. Rosa moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Elizabeth Covey but Gladding struck the next batter for the final out. Gladding finished with nine strikeouts and allowed two other baserunners. Danielle McDavid drew a walk in the sixth, but was thrown out stealing. Amber Kalcic reached when her chopper was mishandled by UA third baseman Jackie Coburn.

Vandergeest hit her final home run with one aboard in the sixth.

Sharleen Koenig pitched four innings and took the loss for SSU in the opener, while Sara Lindenbaum pitched the first two innings in the second game and was the pitcher of record. Reliever Meegan Kaminaka limited the Wildcats to two Vandergeest homers and five other hits.

With the games scheduled as exhibition contests, neither the won-loss marks nor statistics will count toward season marks for either team.

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