Sooners Stun Top-Ranked Cats

May 22, 2004

TUCSON - NCAA Region 1 Softball - Saturday, May 22

Game 11 - Oklahoma 3, Arizona 2

Oklahoma put itself in great position to deny Arizona a 17th consecutive NCAA Regional Softball Championships title with a solid 3-2 victory over the top-ranked Wildcats. The Cats drop to the loser's bracket while Oklahoma awaits the rest of Saturday's action knowing it will play in the Region 1 title game Sunday.

20-ranked OU, the region's No. 2 seed, showed no signs of intimidation in a venue where Arizona had amassed a 41-2 record in NCAA play over the years. Arizona (55-5) would have to win a 5 p.m. game Saturday and beat the Sooners twice Sunday to earn a return trip to Oklahoma City for the Women's College World Series.

Oklahoma (43-19-1) came out swinging in the first and took a 1-0 lead. Norelle Dickson led off with a single up the middle, and was sacrificed to second by Kristin Vesely. UA ace Alicia Hollowell struck out Heather Scaglione, but Christina Enea ripped a run-scoring single down the left field line.

In the meantime, OU pitcher Kami Keiter (20-12) was keeping Arizona's hitters off balance, throwing one-hit ball for three innings. She scattered seven hits and earned her third victory of the weekend.

Hollowell dropped only her third loss of the year against 41 victories, but gave up eight hits and struck out only six. She was the nation's leader with more than a dozen per seven innings entering NCAA play.

UA put runners on the corners without benefit of a hit in the bottom of the first inning, but came up empty. With one out,Allyson Von Liechtenstein reached when the first baseman dropped a throw from third, and moved to second on Wendy Allen's sacrifice. She took on a errant pickoff attempt by catcher Scaglione.Vandergeest walked, but Keiter struck out Jackie Coburn to end the threat.

The Sooners tried to tack on another run with aggressive base running in the third. Vesely reached on an error by Wendy Allen, and Scaglione doubled down the left-field line. OU coach Patti Gasso sent Vesely around third but she was gunned down at the plate on a throw by Von Liechtenstein, a relay throw by shortstop Kristie Fox and a blocked entrance and tag by catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest.

OU was successful in the fourth. Enea walked, moved up on a ground ball, reached third when third baseman Coburn made no throw on a grounder by Jamie Fox and scored on Mariee Mena's single to left. An out later, the nine-hole hitter, April Valdez, singled up the middle to bring in Fox and make it 3-0

Crystal Farley got the first hit off Keiter, a single in the third, but UA finally reached Keiter in the fourth.

Wendy Allen led off and slugged her eighth home run of the year, to center, to bring in UA's first run. Keiter walked Vandergeest, and threw a wild pitch to allow her to reach second. Jackie Coburn walked, then Fox moved both runners over with a sacrifice bunt. Shelly Schultz drew a walk to load the bases. Samantha Quintero singled through the right side to bring in Vandergeest and make it 3-2. UA failed to take further advantage, with both Farley and Caitlin Lowe flying out.

Von Liechtenstein led off the UA fifth with a single, but she was doubled up on a liner by Allen to shortstop Katie Overton. Vandergeest singled, but Coburn flew out to center.

The eight hits off Hollowell were the second most she gave up all year. Stanford tallied 12 in a 2-1 Cardinal victory in Tucson May 3, and Hollowell gave up six two other times this year. It was only the fourth time a team had scored three runs or more off her this year. Stanford and UCLA each scored five runs off her this year, but Arizona won both games as well as a fourth game when UCLA tallied four.

Oklahoma Coach Patti Gasso - 'We were ready. We were ready to give everything we had as a team in this game. We exicuted well, we bunted, we hit with runners on base, the exicution was fantastic. (OU starting pitcher) Kami (Keiter) stuggled early, but she battled throught and pitched well.'

Oklahoma pitcher Kami Keiter - 'I felt I was trying to do too much and was getting away from what I know (when Arizona scored two runs in the fourth). I talked with coach (Melyssa) Lombarbi and went back to what I knew what I've had success with.'

Oklahoma infielder Christina Enea - 'I trust coach Gasso (for batting me fifth while returning from injury). I know she wanted to get me to get stronger down in the order before moving be back into fourth.'

Arizona Coach Larry Ray - 'I think they (Oklahoma) did some good things offensively early that we couldn't overcome. I give credit to their pitcher (Kami Keiter). She was mixing it up and we didn't make the necessary adjustments.

'I knew they (Oklahoma) were capable of playing well. I don't think anyone overlooked them. We've got our work cut out for us. We've got to win three games over the next two days and that is going to mentally and physically tough for us.'BOX SCORE

                              2004 NCAA Region 1 Softball                      #21 Oklahoma Sooners at #1 Arizona Wildcats                  May 22, 2004 at Tucson, Ariz. (Hillenbrand Stadium)

Oklahoma Sooners 3 (43-19-1) Arizona Wildcats 2 (55-5)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Dickson 3b................. 4 1 2 0 Caitlin Lowe cf............ 4 0 0 0 Vesely cf.................. 2 0 0 0 A. Von Liechtenstein rf.... 4 0 1 0 Scaglione c................ 4 0 1 0 Wendy Allen 1b............. 3 1 1 1 Enea 1b.................... 3 0 2 1 Mackenz. Vandergeest c..... 2 1 2 0 Prather pr................ 0 1 0 0 Jackie Coburn 3b........... 3 0 0 0 Leslie lf.................. 3 0 0 0 Cortney Nix pr............ 0 0 0 0 Fox rf..................... 3 1 1 0 Kristie Fox ss............. 2 0 0 0 Mena dh.................... 3 0 1 1 Shelly Schultz dh.......... 2 0 0 0 Keiter p................... 3 0 0 0 Betsy Wilson pr........... 0 0 0 0 Valdez 2b.................. 3 0 1 1 Samantha Quintero 2b....... 2 0 1 1 Overton ss................. 0 0 0 0 Crystal Farley lf.......... 3 0 2 0 Alicia Hollowell p......... 0 0 0 0 Totals..................... 28 3 8 3 Totals..................... 25 2 7 2

Score by Innings R H E ----------------------------------------- Oklahoma Sooners.... 100 200 0 - 3 8 2 Arizona Wildcats.... 000 200 0 - 2 7 1 -----------------------------------------

E - Scaglione; Enea; Allen. DP - OU 1. LOB - OU 7; ARIZ 9. 2B - Scaglione. HR - Allen. SH - Vesely 2; Allen; Fox. CS - Farley.

Oklahoma Sooners IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF FO GO ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Keiter W,20-12............ 7.0 7 2 2 5 7 1 0 0 0 25 32 7 5

Arizona Wildcats IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF FO GO ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Alicia Hollowell L,41-3... 7.0 8 3 3 1 6 0 0 0 0 28 31 8 6

WP - Keiter.

Strikeouts - Dickson; Vesely; Scaglione; Mena; Keiter 2; Lowe 2; VonLiechten. 2; Allen; Coburn; Fox. Walks - Enea; Vandergeest 2; Coburn; Schultz; Quintero.

Umpires - HP: Terry Hix 1B: Debbi Lauderback 2B: Linda Hoover Start: 11:30 am Time: 2:30 Attendance: 1561

Game notes: ID-263180 Game: AZ-OKLA

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