Washington Softball Loses Doubleheader To No. 1 Arizona

May 15, 2004

SEATTLE- The seventh-ranked Washington softball team (36-17) wrapped up the regular season with a pair of losses to top-ranked Arizona (53-4), 3-0 and 5-1, this afternoon at the Husky Softball Stadium. The Huskies finish the Pac-10 season in fifth place with a 10-10 record, while the Wildcats, who clinched the Pac-10 Championship last week, improve to 17-3.

Stanford and California tied for second in the Pac-10 with 13-8 records, while UCLA finished fourth with a 12-8 record. Oregon placed sixth (10-11), followed by Oregon State in seventh (4-17) and Arizona State in eighth (3-17).

In the opener, Arizona threatened in the top of the first inning, loading the bases on an infield single by Autumn Champion and a pair of walks. After a meeting in the circle with coach Scott Centala, UW hurler Ashley Boek settled in and struck out Shelly Schultz to get out of the jam.

The Huskies made some noise in the bottom half of the inning as Dominique Lastrapes walked and Sarah Hyatt singled through the left side to put runners on first and second with one out. Kristen Rivera's fielder's choice moved Lastrapes over to third but UA ace Alicia Hollowell tallied her second strikeout of the inning to end the inning.

Kathy Fiske led off the bottom of the second for Washington with a double down the left field line. Jessica Wilkinson replaced Fiske at second and after two UW outs, Wilkinson moved to third base on a passed ball. Hollowell notched her fourth strikeout of the game to get out of the inning.

Boek fanned the first two Wildcat batters in the fourth inning before giving up a walk to Samantha Quintero. Jackie Coburn then singled through the right side, just out of the reach of Hyatt at first base and Quintero advanced to third, drawing the throw. Coburn moved to second on the play. Crystal Farley then hit a sharp ground ball to Boek, who fired the ball home as Rivera put the tag on Quintero for the third out of the inning.

Arizona loaded the bases in the fifth inning on a Champion single and two walks. Kristie Fox then ripped a line drive to left field that Courtney Jeffries charged in for and made the catch for the second out of the inning. Schultz then drew a full count walk to score Champion and give UA the 1-0 lead. Boek struck out the next batter for the third out.

UA continued to pressure the Husky defense in the top of the sixth inning, scoring one run on four singles. Abrams led off with a single through the left side and was replaced by pinch runner Courtney Nix. Nix was sacrifice to second by Farley and Caitlin Lowe followed with a single to right field. Champion then dropped a bunt single to load the bases. A single by Wendy Allen to left field scored Nix and gave Arizona the 2-0 lead.

Washington put two runners on base in the bottom of the sixth as Hollowell hit Aimee Minor and Rivera by pitches. The Huskies were unable to move the runners, however, as Hollowell struck out the next two batters to end the inning.

The Wildcats threatened again in the seventh, loading the bases for the fourth time. Candace Abrams and Quintero led off with back-to-back infield singles before Coburn drew a walk. Farley then singled to centerfield, scoring Abrams but centerfielder Rita Roach picked Quintero at the plate. Boek struck out the next batter and a pop-up to the catcher closed on the side for the Wildcats.

The Huskies attempted a rally in the bottom of the seventh inning when Amanda Oleson led off with an infield single and moved to second on a sacrifice by Roach. Hollowell picked up her 12th and 13th strikeouts of the game to earn the win.

Boek (25-11) took the loss for Washington as she allowed 12 hits, struck out 10 and walked seven. Hollowell (39-2) earned the win as she held UW to three hits, struck out 12 and walked four.

Arizona struck first in the nightcap, scoring one run in the second inning. Coburn led off with a single through the left side and moved to second on a sacrifice by Fox. Quintero then hit a bloop single into shallow left centerfield to advance Coburn to third and Schultz hit a sacrifice fly to left field to score Coburn and give the Wildcats the 1-0 lead.

Lastrapes led off the bottom of the first for the Huskies with a single to centerfield. Rivera drew a two-out walk to put a runner in scoring position but a hard hit fly ball to right field by Fiske was caught to end the inning.

UA scored another run in the third inning on two hits. Lowe led off the frame with a bunt single and advanced to third on a sacrifice and a stolen base. Mackenzie Vandergeest then drove a line drive just over the shortstop to score Lowe and put Arizona on top 2-0.

Arizona broke the game wide open in the fifth inning with a three-run home run by Coburn to take the 5-0 lead. The hit into the right field bleachers scored Champion and Vandergeest who had reached base on a walk and single, respectively.

Washington got on the scoreboard in the sixth inning with two hits. Jessica Wilkinson led off with a double to centerfield and moved to third on a single up the middle by Hyatt. Rivera walked to load the bases and Robyn Wike's ground out to the shortstop scored Wilkinson to cut Arizona's lead to 5-1.

The Huskies tallied two hits in the bottom of the seventh with singles by Roach and Lastrapes. Allen closed out the game for Arizona with a strikeout and ground out.

Tia Bollinger (11-6) took the loss for Washington as she allowed 12 hits, while striking out five and walking two. Allen (9-0) earned the victory as she scattered six hits, struck out eight and walked two.

The Huskies will wait and along with the rest of the nation's top collegiate softball teams to see who is invited to compete in the NCAA regional tournament. The NCAA Selection Show will air live Sunday night at 5:30 p.m. on ESPNews. Washington expects to travel to any one of five regional sites not hosted by a Pac-10 team, including Waco, Texas (Baylor); Tallahassee, Fla. (Florida State); Athens, Ga. (Georgia); Lincoln, Neb. (Nebraska); or Ann Arbor, Mich. (Michigan).

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