TUCSON, Ariz.Arizona and Oklahoma met in a hard-fought battle of Top 5 teams, but two Wildcat freshman sluggers hit three home runs to propel UA past the Sooners, 6-2, for the Hillenbrand Invitational championship Sunday afternoon.
The second-largest crowd in UA history, 2,751, saw Leneah Manuma hit her 10th and 11th home runs of the season, each with a runner on, and Kim Balkan also added a two-run blast, her third of the year. UA had two other hits off OU freshman ace Adrienne Ratliff. Oklahoma managed a total of five hits against Arizona's Jennie Finch.
The Sooners scored an unearned run in the first after Christy Ring reached on an error by UA third baseman Toni Mascarenas. With two outs, OU loaded the bases with a walk and a single, and Wildcat pitcher Jennie Finch walked Erin Evans to force in a run.
An error hurt Oklahoma in the bottom of the inning. Left fielder Ring knocked Toni Mascarenas' two-out fly ball loose from centerfielder Erin Evans, and Manuma hita towering home run to right to give UA two unearned runs and the lead.
Ashli Barrett followed a Lisa Carey single with a run-scoring double for Oklahoma to make it 2-2 in the third. Mascarenas walked with two outs in the bottom of the inning and Manuma hit a line drive home run to the opposite field to regain the lead for UA at 4-2. In Manuma's last at-bat, Ratliff issued an intentional walk.
Freshman designated player Balkan smacked a home run to left after Allison Andrade singled in the fourth, pushing UA's lead to the final margin.
Finch improved to 9-0. Ratliff dropped to 7-2. The Cats remained unbeaten at 27-0 while Oklahoma is 17-3.
Game 14 Creighton vs. Indiana State
TUCSON, Ariz.Creighton, held to 11 runs in its previous four games at the Hillenbrand Invitational, broke open an early narrrowgame with four runs in the bottom of the fifth to take a mercy-rule 9-1 victory over Indiana State Sunday afternoon.
Creighton collected 12 hits with two each by Stacey Rybar, DeAnn Kaster and Cara Van Winkle.
The Blue Jays improved to 4-6 overall and finished 2-3 in the round-robin tournament to earn fourth place. Indiana State dropped to 3-7 overall and was 0-5 in the tourney.
Game 13 Baylor vs. Western Michigan
TUCSON, Ariz.Baylor scored twice in the fifth to regain the lead and hang on for a 6-5 victory over Western Michigan and a third-place finish in Arizona's Hillenbrand Invitational softball tournament Sunday.
The Lady Bears used a WMU error and an Rbi single by Sarah Caudle to push the tying and go-ahead runs across.
WMU opened the scoring in the first with a single by Andrea Kellicut, a sacrifice by Alaina Scott, a wild pitch and a run-scoring singleby Alison Honaman.
Baylor scored four times in the third with a run-scoring ground-out by Stacey Hundley, an RBI double by Ryan Stukel, a fielding error and a RBI single by Sarah Caudle. But Western Michigan answered with a four-run fourth highlighted by a rare three consecutive triples -- by Nicole Drabecki, Erin Malloch and Andrea Kellicut.