Cats Beat Alabama, 13-5, in Softball

Feb. 2, 2002

TUCSON, Ariz-- - Senior All-American Jenny Finch's two home runs paced a 14-hit Arizona attack as the top-ranked Wildcats came from behind twice to overcome No. 13 Alabama in softball action at Hillenbrand Stadium, 13-5.

A weird play in the fifth inning wiped out a three-run home run by Leneah Manuma. The ball barely cleared the left field fence. Lovie Jung scored from second. Runner Mackenzie Vandergeest stopped to watch the ball and Manuma passed her between first and second and continued to home plate. Manuma was called out for passing a runner, then Alabama appealed and Vandergeest was called out for missing second base. Manuma was credited with a single.

Alabama scored early to take a 3-0 lead in the first, but did so with only one hit off UA pitcher Jenny Gladding.

Suzanne Olcott walked and beat the throw to second on Jennifer Reach's sacrifice bunt, and Jackie McClain walked to load the bases. After one out, Jackie Wilkins drove in a run and reached first on UA shortstop Jung's error. Angela Johnson singled to left to score Reach, and Tiffany Johnson walked to force in McClain.

Arizona tied the game in the bottom of the first with a single by Jung, a walk by Vandergeest and Finch's three-run homer to left.

Gladding struggled again in the second, giving up a lead-off double to Olcott, hitting a batter and walking one to set up Wilkins' sacrifice fly, and the Tide went up 4-3.

Gladding walked the lead-off batter in the third, but then struck out the side. Arizona sent 11 batter to the plate and scored six runs in its half of the inning, punctuated by Finch's grand slam, to increase the lead to 9-5.

Lisha Ribellia's two-run double in the sixth ended the game on the eight-run mercy rule.

Gladding (1-0) gave up six hits all day, but walked eight and hit a batter. Alabama stranded 12 runners. The Crimson Tide's Erin Wright (1-0) took the loss.

The teams conclude their series with a third game at 12 noon Sunday.

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