Softball Loses First Game of Season to Mississippi State

Feb. 9, 2002

Two home runs by Mississippi State and a solid pitchingperformance by Kasey Whitehead helped put an end to Arizona's 32-gamewinning streak, as the Bulldogs beat top-ranked Arizona, 7-1, in FiestaBowl softball tournament action Saturday evening.

Iyhia McMichael hit a two-run home run off UA's Jenny Gladding in the topof the first to give the Bulldogs a quck lead after Kellie Wilkerson hadwalked.

MSU added three more in the second on Wilkerson's home run to left. Withone out, Kasey Whitehead walked, Faith Robinson walked and Jennifer Jessupreached on a fielder's choice in focing out Robinson, beforeWilkerson's blast.

Jennie Finch led off the UA second with a walk, moved to third onGladding's double and scored on Jackie Coburn's sacrifice fly to put UA onthe scoreboard at 5-1. Lovie Jung and Courtney Fossatti singled up themiddle with one out in the third, but Whitehead got a force out and LaneahManuma lined to short to end the threat.

Whitehead (3-0) scattered eight hits and struck out four in helping MSU to3-0. UA's Gladding held the Bulldogs to three hits -- none after the secondinning -- and struck out nine but was hurt by the long ball. UA dropped to6-1.

The Bulldogs added insult to injury by scoring two runs in the seventhaided by Arizona fielding errors by first baseman Finch, third basemanCoburn and shortstop Jung, plus two of the six walks issued by Gladdingduring the game.

Arizona last lost a game on April 8, 2001, at UCLA, 3-0, with Gladdingalso taking the loss. The victory was MSU's first over a ranked team sinceit beat No. 9 Stanford, 2-1, in 10 innings on March 7, 2000, in theLeadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.

Arizona concludes play in the round-robin tournament at Rose MoffordSoftball Complex with games Sunday at 8 a.m. against Massachusetts and at10 a.m. against Wisconsin. The Cats return to action in Tucson next weekendas host to the Arizona Softball Classic tournament.

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