Cats Pound No. 2 Cardinal, 12-4

April 17, 2009

TUCSON--Arizona's hitting -- 13 markers in all -- overpowered No. 2 Stanford, 12-4, Friday night before an aroused crowd of 2,469 at Hillenbrand Stadium.

The victory pushed Arizona (34-9) to sole possession of first place in the Pac-10 at 6-2. Stanford dropped to 36-5 and 6-4.

UA roughed up Stanford ace pitcher Missy Pena (25-4) and got a complete-game victory from Sarah Akamine (15-4) in the six-inning game shortened by the run rule.

Arizona had three home runs to extend its nation-best total to 99.

Alissa Haber and Ashley Hansen opened the Stanford first with singles Shannon Koplitz blooped a liner into the hole at second, but Kristen Arriola dove for the catch and doubled Hansen off first. Sarah Akamine then struck out Mady Coon to strand Haber and get out of the inning unscathed.

Arizona started the same way, with hits by Brittany Lastrapes and K'Lee Arredondo, but Jenae Leles followed with a deep blast over the fence in left for her 20th home run and a 3-0 lead.

Leles' shot and Stacie Chambers' 24 home runs gave Arizona two players with 20 or more circuit blasts since Toni Mascarenas (25) and Mackenzie Vandergeest (20) pulled the feat in 2001 when the Cats' hit an NCAA-record 125 homers.

The Cardinal closed the gap in the third. Akamine walked Jenna Becerra and Sarah Bessman singled up the middle with no outs. Haber grounded to second, but Arriola's throw was low trying for the force at second for an error to load the bases.

Hansen hit into a force out at home for the first out, but Coon singled to drive in a pair of runs, the first unearned. Rosey Neill hit into a force at third and Melisa Koutz flied out to leave UA up, 3-2.

Arizona came right back. Arredondo followed a Lastrapes single with her sixth home run of the year to quickly plate two runs in the bottom of the third. Leles singled to left, and after a couple of outs, Lini Koria doubled off first baseman Becerra's glove to drive in another run and make it 6-2. Arriola made some amends by dropping a hit down the left field line to drive in Koria for a 7-2 lead.

Stanford again put runners on, three of them. Becerra reached on a dropped-fly error by Lauren Schutzler in centerfield, Hassman singled to right and Haber had a bunt single to load the bases with one out. Hansen into a potential double play, but beat out the throw at first to drive in Becerra and make it 7-3.

With out out in the fifth, Neill slugged a liner to deep center for her ninth home run to trim the lead to three, 7-4.

Lastrapes started things going in the UA sixth with a three-run home run to make it 10-4. . The Cats picked up another run when Arredondo scored on a single by Banister after Stanford misplayed a potential run-down, and Lini Koria singled to drive in the mercy-rule margin.

Arizona plays California Saturday (7 p.m) and Sunday (noon) to close its league weekend.

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