Wildcats Take Down Texas A&M For Region 1 Championship
May 18, 2003
TUCSON - Senior shortstop Lovie Jung led Arizona to a 10-5 victory and its16th consecutive Women's College World Series berth, as the Cats beat TexasA&M for the NCAA Region 1 with a blistering hitting attack.
The Cats pounded 19 hits off three A&M pitchers
Arizona jumped to a quick lead. With one out in the first, CourtneyFossatti singled and was doubled to third by Lovie Jung, setting up atwo-run single by Mackenzie Vandergeest.
Texas A&M touched up UA freshman pitcher Alicia Hollowell in its home halfof the inning to take the lead, 4-2. Adrian Gregory singled, Ricky Spencerreached on a sacrifice bunt when Hollowell tried to get the lead runner,and Jana James walked. Crystal Martin hit her second home run of thetournament to clear the bases.
Arizona responded swiftly. Lisha Ribellia led off the second with asingle, and moved to third on a throwing error off Crystal Farley's infieldsingle. Autumn Champion singled in Ribellia. Courtney Fossatti reached on afielder's choice , forcing Farley, then Lovie Jung hammered her 25th homerun of the year to make it 5-4.
The Cats added some insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Jung collectedher fourth hit, moved to second on a hit by Wendy Allen, then stole thirdand scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Allen moved up on the play,moved to third on a ground ball by Jackie Coburn, then scored on a singleby Ribellia.
Vandergeest doubled in two runs in the top of the seventh to make it 9-4.Fossatti and Jung singled before Vandergeest collected her 10th and 11thRBI of the regional.
Jung, who finished the day five-for-five, was selected Region 1 MostOutstanding Player. She had a double, home run, two stolen bases and fourruns scored in the championship game.
Hollowell collected herself after the first inning and threw two-hit balluntil the seventh inning, when the Aggies staged a two-out rally. Spencerled off with a single, Selena Collins was hit by a pitch and Hollowellwalked Jana James to load the bases. Crystal Martin, who made theall-tourney team, singled in a run. Lindsay Wilhelmson lined out to leftfield to end the game.
It was the fourth victory of the tournament for Hollowell, extending herschool season record to 38 victories, against three losses. TAMU'sWilhelmson (18-8) took the loss, but had two victories in NCAA play andmade the all-tournament team.
Texas A&M finished its season 38-22 and was 3-2 in Region play. TheWildcats improved to 54-5 with a flawless 4-0 tournament record includingtwo victories over the Aggies.
Three other Wildcats made the All-Region 1 team along with Jung --Hollowell, Champion and Vandergeest.
Arizona will play Game 1 of the College World Series at 10 a.m. Thursday,May 22, against the winner of the Region 8 tournament, either top seedAlabama or Southern Illinois.
Arizona Coach Mike Candrea:
'It was another goal of ours to be at home (for the regionals) and win. Myhat goes off to these girls. Some people don't understand the pressure ofwearing this uniform. There's a lot of pressure not only from the coachesbut from the fans who always expect you to win. I was impressed with(Coach) Joe Evans and the Aggies. They did a good job of fighting back andnot just laying down after our big inning.'
After yesterday, we had to come out with authority and control, and I thinkwe did that. Especially after giving up four runs in the first inning.'
Texas A&M Coach Jo Evans:
'I thought our kids did a great job. We got into a hole early, but how wecame back waas exciting. After losing 3-0 yesterday, we had a lot ofconfidence andwere excited for our chances today. We have a lot of fight inour team and people know that about us.'
REGION 1 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Lovie Jung, Arizona, shortstop, Most Outstanding Player
Kristin Lueke, Princeton, utility
Elena Ferrero, Boston College, DP/first base
Jan Moshier, Cal State Northridge, catcher
Anne Thul, Minnesota, catcher
Kristin Hall, South Carolina, utility
Crystal Martin, Texas A&M, shortstop
Lindsay Wilhelmson, Texas A&M, pitcher
Jana James, Texas A&M, outfielder
Alicia Hollowell, Arizona, pitcher
Autumn Champion, Arizona, outfielder
Mackenzie Vandergeest, Arizona, catcher