First-inning Slams Set Tone
April 18, 2009
TUCSON--Two grand slams in the top of the first gave 10th-ranked Arizona a huge lead and punctuated the Wildcats' 11-2 victory over No. 14 California Saturday night at HIllenbrand Stadium and maintain the Pac-10 lead.
Meantime, UA pitchers held Cal to five hits in the five-inning game, and just missed a chance at a shutout.
Brittany Lastrapes and K'Lee Arredondo led off the first with singles, Jenae Leles drew a walk and then Stacie Chambers took a 3-2 pitch and parked it out of the field in straightaway center for her nation-best 25th and the Cats' 100th home run of the year and a 4-0 lead.
The Cats (35-9, 7-2) batted around in the inning, helped by Cal starter Marissa Drewry following Chambers' blast by walking the bases loaded. Lastrapes then knocked the second grand slam to right field for an 8-0 lead, chasing Drewry (16-10).
California fell to 29-14 and 5-6. The two teams collide again at noon Sunday.
The Bears threatened in the third but came up empty. Singles by Vernae Sevilla and Valerie Arioto put runners at the corners with one out. Akamine struck out Jamia Reid and got Gina Leomiti to ground out.
Arredondo turned on a pitch in the UA third to knock one out of the park with one aboard and push the lead to 10-0. It was her seventh home run of the year and gave the Cats double-digit scoring in a game for the 19th time this season.
It wasn't the end of the scoring. Two errors helped UA load the bases and Lauren Schutzler drew a walk to bring in a run. After a strikeout, Lastrapes took one to the warning track, but left fielder Reid made the catch.
Akamine (16-4) earned the victory in three innings of work. Jennifer Martinez pitched the final two innings, giving up a two-out, two-run home run to Arioto in the Golden Bears' fifth.
The Cats' 103 home runs are the second-highest total in history behind the NCAA-record 126 by the 2001 club. The 2009 team passed the 100 mark set by the 1995 during tonight's game