Softball Powers Through Tourney

Feb. 22, 2009

Game 8 - Arizona 6, Utah 1

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TUCSON -- No. 11-ranked Arizona topped Utah, 6-1, to win a pair of games on Sunday and emerge unbeaten in its Wildcat Invitational softball tournament at 6-0.

UA outscored the opponents 53-5 in the tourney contests. The Wildcats improved to 13-2 overall with the weekend sweep.

Utah got baserunners in the first, but UA worked out of the jam. Whitney Holm singled with one out. Sharee Fonoti laid down a sacrifice bunt and reached second when pitcher Lindsey Sisk threw wildly to first, with Holm moving to third.

Andrea Hoffman hit a ground ball to the left side and third baseman Jenae Leles threw to the plate and eventually tagged Holm in a run down. Staci Hemingway got hit by a pitch but Angie Boardman grounded to second for the third out.

Arizona did its weekend thing in the bottom of the first. Lauren Schutzler got hit by a pitch with one out, and then Jenae Leles yanked one over the left field fence for her third home run in her four last official at bats spanning three games.

Victoria Kemp dropped a soft liner into left field in the UA second to drive in a third run, plating Lini Koria, who had doubled to lead off the inning.

Utah had base runners in the second and third with hits by Jasey Jensen and Holm, but couldn't move each past second base.

Hannah Clements led off the fifth with a double to deep center, and an out later Holm reached on an error to put two aboard, but winner Sisk (6-2) got a couple of ground balls to end the threat.

Utah pitcher Joni Cook (0-5) kept Arizona's hitters quiet for a spell, helped in the fourth by a double play turned by second baseman Jensen. But she took the loss for the Utes (7-8) , who came to Tucson with a four-game winning streak but left on a skid after dropping two to North Dakota State and three games to host Arizona.

UA picked it up in the bottom of the fifth. Singles by Brittany Lastrapes and Schutzler, a wild pitch and a sac fly by Sam Banister put up one run, Stacie Chambers was hit by a pitch and then Lini Koria tripled down the right field line to make it 6-0.

Utah showed some life in the next half inning. Staci Hemingway led off with a double and an out later Brooke Olson beat out an infield single. With two outs, pinch-hitter Haylee Hoch struck out looking.

But the Utes got a leadoff home run from Kara Foster to post a run in the seventh off Arizona reliever Jennifer Martinez. Holm walked and moved to second on a sacrifice by Sharee Fonoti -- on a play where she beat the throw but was called out for running outside the chalk line to first. But Martinez struck out Andrea Hoffman and Hemingway to end the game.

UA drew a crowd of 2,167 for the games Sunday, giving it a total of more than 6,500 for the weekend's three dates.

Up Next: The Wildcats travel to Texas A&M for a three-game series in College Station next Friday through Sunday...

Game 7 - Arizona 12, North Dakota State 0 (5 inn.)

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TUCSON -- Arizona pounded the ball and pounded the Bison of North Dakota State, 12-0, to stay unbeaten in its own Wildcat Invitational softball tournament Sunday morning at Hillenbrand Stadium. UA clouted six home runs, two by Stacie Chambers.

Chambers drove in six runs in the contest, more than enough for pitchers Sarah Akamine (7-0) and reliever Jennifer Martinez, who combined on a two-hit shutout. Chambers has 30 RBI in 14 games.

The No. 11-ranked Cats (12-2) went for extra bases out of the gate and took a 3-0 lead in the bottom of the first and never looked back, collecting 12 hits in the five-inning game.

Leadoff hitter Brittany Lastrapes lined an 0-1 pitch over the fence in right center to put UA on the scoreboard. It was the second blast of the year for the normally slap-hitting lefty. An out later, Jenae Leles hit her second four-bagger of the year to make it 2-0.

Sam Banister doubled to center to drive in Banister and Lini Koria was hit by a pitch, but NDSU pitcher Randi Parks (1-1) got Laine Roth to pop out and struck out Victoria Kemp for the third out.

UA batted around in the second. The Cats loaded with the bases with no outs to chase Parks and bring on Andi Padilla.

Jill Malina led off with a single, Lastrapes drew a walk and Lauren Schutzler beat out a bunt single. Leles lined to left for a sacrifice fly, and then Banister walked to re-load the bases. Chambers then launched a high drive just over the fence in center for a grand slam and 8-0 lead. Roth doubled down the left field line and Kemp walked, but Malina struck out to strand two.

Lastrapes doubled to lead off the UA third, and Schutzler pounded the first pitch over the batter's eye in dead center for a 10-0 margin with her second homer of the season. Two outs later, Chambers and Koria hit solo home runs to right-center to make it 12-0.

The Bison had singles by Elisa Victa in the first and fourth innings off Akamine, who had no walks and struck out one in four innings pitched. Martinez set down the side in order in the top of the fifth, striking out two.

North Dakota State beat Utah twice in the tournament and lost to Arizona in three games, leaving Tucson with a 2-3 mark and 7-3 overall. UA was to play Utah in the final game of the tournament afterward.

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