Bears Beat UA Second Time, Send Cats Home

May 25, 2003

OKLAHOMA CITY - Top-ranked Arizona saw its dreams of a seventh NCAAchampionship disappear as defending titlist California beat the Cats, 4-1,to eliminate them in semifinal action of the Women's College World Series.

It was Cal's second victory over Arizona on Sunday. The Bears came out ofthe loser's bracket to earn their second consecutive appearance in the NCAAchampionship game.

UA, which had beaten the Bears three times in 2003, could not overcome ayeoman pitching performance by Kelly Anderson (23-4), who pitched 39 of theteam's 43 innings in the Series to that point to pull Cal into contention,and beat Arizona twice Sunday. Arizona freshman Alicia Hollowell threw all32 innings for the Cats in the Series and won twice, but appeared off herbest stuff in two game against California.

Arizona lost back-to-back games in its 16 WCWS appearances for only thethird time and first since a three-game visit in 1999. Californiaeliminated UA for the second consecutive year after beating the Cats in thetitle game last year, 6-0.

Anderson won her third game in Oklahoma City against one loss.

Golden Bears centerfielder Kaleo Eldredge hit her first home run of theseason and the second of her two-year career to lead off the Cal second andpost a 1-0 lead.

Arizona responded in the bottom of the frame. Jackie Coburn reached on afielder's choice and Wildcat senior second baseman Lisha Ribellia doubledover Eldredge's head for the tying RBI.

In the next inning UA had runners on first and third with two outs, butCourtney Fossatti was picked off third by catcher Courtney Scott to end theinning.

Hollowell walked two in the fourth to put a runner in scoring position andCal threatened when Vicky Galindo beat out an infield hit but Eldredge waspicked off third by an alert throw from second baseman Ribellia.

Arizona had issued five intentional walks to Cal first baseman VeronicaNelson during the day, including her first two plate appearances in thesecond game, and she showed why in the top of the fifth. After CourtneyScott singled to right, UA coach Mike Candrea was forced to pitch to her toavoid putting the go-ahead runner on second, and Nelson clobbered a 1-1pitch to left-center for a two-run homer and a 3-1 lead. In her last atbat, in the seventh, UA put her on first again.

Hollowell, who had averaged less than one and a half walks per gameentering the Series, found the going a bit rougher in Oklahoma City, whereshe issued 21 walks in 32 and one-third innings pitched, though six werethe intentional passes to Nelson.

California (49-19) added another run in the top of the seventh when Nelsonwas issued her final intentional walk, the Bears used a sac bunt and agrounder to move pinch-runner LeAnna Hoglen to third, and Chelsea Spencerhit an RBI single.

Arizona ended its season 56-7 overall, 6-2 in NCAA play and 2-2 at theWorld Series. The Bears, 4-1 in Series play, move into the national titlegame Monday afternoon against the winner of the Texas-UCLA game which wasto follow.

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