No. 24 Softball Edged by No. 4 Arizona, 3-1

April 22, 2005

TUCSON, Ariz. - The 24th-ranked Arizona State softball team (26-17, 1-10 Pac-10) fell to fourth-ranked Arizona (32-6, 6-4 Pac-10), 3-1, on Friday night in Tucson. The Sun Devils out hit the Wildcats 7-6 and led the game 1-0 until UA scored two runs in the fifth and one in sixth inning. Both teams had chances to score in nearly every inning as ASU and UA each left eight runners on base.

ASU struck first against UA with a single run off two hits. Bridgette Caron opened the game with a double -- her third in the past two games -- to left field off UA starting pitcher Alicia Hollowell (21-5). After Hollowell retired the next tow Sin Devil batters, Heidi Knabe kept her hot Pac-10 batting average going as she singled to center field to plate Caron.

UA looked to get something going in the home half of the second inning off a two out rally. After ASU starting pitcher Katie Burkhart got the first two outs, Crystal Farley singled to left, Courtney Fossatti walked and Caitlin Lowe was intentionally walked to load the bases for the force at any base. Candace Abrams then pinch hit for Autumn Champion, but Burkhart got Abrams to ground out to Jen McCard at third to end the threat.

ASU kept the pressure on the Wildcats in the third and fourth innings as they got runners on first and second, but could not record a run. Desiree Serrano (10-6) then relived Burkhart in the fourth and also got UA to strand runners on first and second.

However, in the bottom of the fifth, the Wildcats capitalized on two hits and a wild pitch to take a 2-1 lead. Champion opened the frame with a bunt single and moved to second when Kristie Fox walked. Burkhart then re-entered the game for Serrano and gave up a single to center field to Jackie Colburn, scoring Champion and advancing Fox to third. Fox then gave the 2-1 lead to UA when Burkhart threw a wild pitch.

UA then tagged on an insurance run in the sixth. Farley began the inning with a single to center, advanced to second on a sacrifice and moved to third on a ground out. With two outs, it looked as if ASU would get out of the inning when Champion hit into a fielder's choice to Burkhart, but a throwing error to first base allowed Champion to run to second and Farley to score the third run of the game.

ASU tried to get something going one more time in the seventh inning. With one out, Michelle Smith singled to center field. Caron, who finished the night 3 for 4, followed with a bunt single to move Smith to second. But Hollowell struck out the next batter and induced a ground out to end the game.

Burkhart worked five innings, allowing four hits and one run with four strikeouts. Serrano took the loss, giving up two runs off two hits with one strikeout. Hollowell went the distance for UA, allowing seven hits and one run with eight strikeouts.

Up next, the Sun Devils will play their third and final game of the year against the Wildcats in Tucson on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.

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