Arriola's Walk-Off Blast Sinks Bruins

May 14, 2010

TUCSON -- Kristen Arriola drove a ball into the left field stands for a two-out, two-run, walk-off home run to give No. 3 Arizona a 5-3 victory over No. 5 UCLA Friday night to even the schools' final Pac-10 series at one apiece.

Both teams combined to strand 17 runners but Arizona avoided doing it in every inning with the blast by Arriola, her sixth of the year.

Arizona improved to 43-10 overall and stayed tied with UCLA at 13-7 in league play. The Bruins dropped to 39-11.

Sarah Akamine (12-4) won in relief for UA, besting UCLA's Donna Kerr (17-7) who started and re-entered for the Bruins. Kerr struck out 10 but left leading and came up short in relief. Akamine and starter Kenzie Fowler helped UCLA strand eight base runners, none bigger than one in the UCLA seventh.

The Cats had base hits in each of the first two innings, by K'Lee Arredondo and Brigette Del Ponte, but couldn't get anything else going off UCLA ace Kerr.

The Bruins struck first, with GiOnna DiSalvatore hitting a two-out solo home run in the third after UA's Kenzie Fowler had pitched two and two-thirds innings of hitless ball. It was her eighth of the season and UCLA's 76th.

Megan Langenfeld, the winning pitcher in the Bruins' 6-5 victory Thursday, led off the fourth with her 14th home run of the year to make it 2-0.

Arizona mounted a threat in its half of the fourth. Stacie Chambers led off with a single and an out later, Lini Koria and Kristen Arriola drew walks to load the bases. But Baillie Kirker popped to shortstop Monica Harrison in shallow left and Kerr struck out Karissa Buchanan to strand all three.

After reaching a 2-1 count to Kaila Shull in the top of the fifth, Fowler apparently developed an arm problem and UA coach Mike Candrea summoned Akamine from the bullpen. Shull walked, moved to second on a groundout by B.B. Bates, and DiSalvatore picked up another RBI with a single up the middle to make it 3-0.

Arizona couldn't come up with a key hit and left runners on base in each of the first four innings, but that changed in the fifth.

Lastrapes put the tying run on deck with a leadoff single. UCLA reliever Whitney Baker struck out Lauren Schutzler, but K'Lee Arredondo hit a chop single to third to set up slugger Chambers, who also walked to load the bases.

Del Ponte came through with a bases-clearing double into the gap in right-center, her 71st RBI of the year, four short of the UA school freshman record of 75 by Leah Braatz in 1994.

The hit chased Baker, and Kerr re-entered. She got a ground ball from Lini Koria that moved Del Ponte to third, but Kerr got a groundout from Arriola to end the rally.

UCLA put two runners on in the sixth after two outs, with a single by Samantha Camuso and a walk by Shull, but Akamine struck out Bates. UA had two aboard after a walk by Kirker and a single by Lastrapes, but Kerr struck out pinch-hitter Matty Haack and got Arredondo to fly to left.

Monica Harrison and Langenfeld drew one-out walks to put the go-ahead run on second in the seventh. UA nearly turned a double play, with Andrea Harrison just beating the throw at first, moving the runner to third. Akamine struck out Dani Yudin to end the threat.

The two teams wrap up regular-season play with the rubber match at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. UA will hold a Senior Day ceremony for Akamine, Arredondo and Ashley Ralston-Alvarez after the game.

The NCAA selection committee will announce the 64-team field for the NCAA Softball Championships at 7 p.m. (MST) Sunday. Both Arizona and UCLA have put in bids to host Regional and Super-Regional play, which starts at the end of next week.

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