Cats Split Doubleheader with Tigers

Feb. 21, 2010

Game 2 - Missouri 10, Arizona 5

Sixth-ranked Missouri sophomore pitcher Chelsea Stewart held Arizona's bats at bay for most of the game and the Tigers banged out 12 hits to beat No. 2 Arizona, 10-5, and gain a split of a doubleheader Sunday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium.

UA won the opener, 5-0, but saw its seven-game winning streak to open the year end. Stewart (3-1) scattered four hits, although an Arizona rally chased her in the bottom of the fifth.

The runs were the most scored against Arizona in the regular season since March 18, 2007, when Oklahoma beat the Cats 11-0 in the Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif., although Alabama sent UA home from the Women's College World Series last season, 14-0.

UA's defense fell apart in the first inning, helping Missouri craft a 5-0 lead off two hits.

Rhea Taylor struck out but reached on a wild pitch by Sarah Akamine, and stole second. An out later, Nicole Hudson hit a grounder to Akamine, and Arizona got Taylor in a run down but she returned safely to second, Megan Christopher singled to left to drive in a run, but also reached second when Brittany Lastrapes mishandled the play.

Ashley Fleming's fielder's choice brought in Hudson and then Catherine Lee struck out looking but Christopher scored on a bad throw by catcher Lini Koria. Marla Schweisberger hit a two-run homer to plate two unearned runs.

The Cats put two on the board with a two-run home run by Stacie Chambers in the bottom of the frame, but the Tigers answered in the top of the second with a run-scoring single by Christopher and an RBI double from Fleming.

Marsten doubled down the left field line to plate two more, with Hudson following with an RBI single to right to make it 10-2 in the third. The rally chased Akamine (2-1) in favor of senior Ashley Ralston-Alvarez, making her first career appearance after transferring from Pima Community College for the 2009 season.

Brigette Del Ponte homered to lead off the fifth, and after Becca Tikey was hit by a pitch, Lastrapes doubled to put two runners in scoring position and bring in Missouri pitcher Kristin Nottelmann. Lauren Schutzler drove in a run with a sac fly and Kirker's ground ball brought in a third to make it 10-5.

Arizona loaded the bases with two outs in the sixth, but K'Lee Arredondo flied out to shallow center to end the threat.

Kenzie Fowler came on to pitch the top of the seventh for UA in relief of Ralston-Alvarez, who scattered three hits in her first action spanning three and one-third innings. Fowler retired the side in order.

Game 1 - Arizona 5, Missouri 0

Baillie Kirker accounted for all of Arizona's runs with a pair of home runs and freshman picher Kenzie Fowler tossed a two-hit shutout to lead the No. 2-ranked Wildcats over No. 6 Missouri, 5-0, Sunday morning in the first game of a doubleheader.

Arizona stayed unbeaten to open the year at 7-0, dropping UM to 2-2. The Tigers were 2-1 at Alabama last week. The Cats and Tigers had a two-game set rained out Saturday and coaches agreed to a doubleheader starting at 11 a.m. Sunday instead of the scheduled third game of the series.

Arizona got on the board in the bottom of the first with Kirker's third home run of the season, a two-out, three-run blast to the opposite field in right center following walks by Brittany Lastrapes and Stacie Chambers.

Kirker ripped one the other way for her fifth homer of the year after a Chambers' walk in the fourth to make it 5-0 Arizona.

Missouri coach Ehren Earlywine pulled UM pitching ace Chelsea Thomas with two out in the bottom of the second to apparently save her for duty in the second game, bringing in Jana Hainey in relief. She set down four batters in a row before walking Chambers and giving up the round-tripper to Kirker.

The Cats managed only those two hits until Lastrapes led off the UA fifth with a first-pitch single to center. But Lauren Schutzler popped up on a sacrifice attempt, Hainey struck out K'Lee Arredondo and Chambers flew out to left to strand the runner.

Fowler got in trouble in the Missouri sixth. She walked leadoff hitter Jenna Marston and hit Nocole Hudson with a pitch. But she got Megan Christopher to hit into a force at third, a foul pop from Marla Schweisberger and a nice catch by Karissa Buchanan on a hard liner to right field by Ashley Fleming.

Fowler struck out nine and walked three in improving to 5-0. Thomas dropped to 2-1 in her brief start.

Arizona heads to Palm Springs, Calif. to compete in the Cathedral City Classic next weekend.

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