Softball Falls To Arizona In Second Round of The Women's College World Series, 2-1

May 23, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - The Washington softball team (47-15-1) suffered its first loss of the Women's College World Series at the hands of Arizona (56-5) in the second round, 2-1. A defensive breakdown by the Huskies in the seventh allowed the Wildcats to score the game-winner with two outs and bumps the Huskies into the losers bracket.

Washington will play the winner of the Louisiana-Lafayette/UCLA game Saturday at 6:30 p.m. (PT). Arizona will face the winner of the Texas/California game Sunday at 10 a.m.

The Wildcats, known for their power hitters, relied on the short game this afternoon to slip past the Huskies. Arizona utilized five sacrifice hits to advance its runners, which set a WCWS record, and led to a second round victory. The Huskies used the long ball to score their only run of the day with a home run by Kristen Rivera but it was not enough for the win.

Washington's defense committed an error in the top of the first but made up for the mistake with a double play to end the inning. The Huskies turned another double play in the second frame but not before the Wildcats manufactured a run on one hit. Mackenzie Vandergeest drew a leadoff walk and advanced to third on a sacrifice and ground out. Jackie Coburn then hit a single into shallow centerfield to score Vandergeest and give UA the 1-0 lead.

The Huskies answered in the bottom of the fourth with a solo home run over the left field fence by Rivera. It marked her 25th homer of the season, which ties Arizona's Lovieanne Jung for the national lead and sets a Washington single-season record.

Arizona challenged in the fifth, placing a runner on third with a lead off single, a sacrifice and a ground out. UW ace Tia Bollinger fell behind in the count to Autumn Champion, 3-0, but battled back to record the strikeout and get out of the inning unscathed.

The Wildcats threatened again in the sixth with back-to-back singles to open the inning. The pair of hits led to a pitching change as Washington brought Ashley Boek into the circle for her WCWS debut. Boek struck out Wendy Allen and got Coburn to ground out to Jaime Clark at shortstop to preserve the 1-1 tie.

Arizona scored the game-winner in the seventh inning, taking advantage of two Husky errors. Washington recorded the first out with a grounder to Boek. A miscue at first base on the next play, however, turned into a two-base error and placed Lisha Ribellia on second. Crystal Farley moved Ribellia to third with UA's fifth sacrifice of the day and a throwing error to first base gave Arizona the go ahead run.

Washington was unable to respond in the bottom of the seventh as Arizona's Alicia Hollowell sat the Huskies down in order to end the game.

Boek (18-4) takes the tough loss for Washington as she gave up no hits in two innings of relief. Hollowell (39-3) picks up the win as she held the Huskies to fours hits, while striking out 13 batters.

Washington's game on Saturday will be televised live on ESPN2.

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