May 17, 2003
TUCSON--Freshman Alicia Hollowell set an Arizona school record with her 37th pitching victory, tossing a two-hit, 3-0 shutout over Texas A&M to put the Wildcats in the championship game of the NCAA Region 1 playoff.
Hollowell struck out only three batters but allowed only one Aggie baserunner to reach second base, Jennifer Davis after she singled in the third, and faced only 30 batters, with no walks. Cheryl Fowler had the other A&M hit.
Arizona made the most of its first scoring opportunity by plating two runs
in the top of the first inning. With two outs and runners on first and
second, Wendy Allen drove a single into center field that scored Courtney
Fossatti. Lovieanne Jung also scored from first base on the play following
an errant throw to the plate by A&M center fielder Cheryl Fowler.
A one-out single by Lisha Ribellia, followed by a stolen base and a two-out single by Autumn Champion gave the Wildcats another run in the second inning.
Hollowell broke the single-season pitching victories record held by Nancy Evans, UA's assistant coach. She had identical 36-2 records in both 1997 and 1998. She won the Honda Softball Award the latter year as a senior. Hollowell is just two victories shy of hitting Arizona's career pitching victories chart, where Ginnie Scheller sits at No. 10 with a 38-12 mark from 1987-90 during Arizona Coach Mike Candrea's early tenure at Arizona.
Texas A&M (37-21) plays South Carolina for the right to meet Arizona (53-5) in Sunday's title game. If either team beats the Wildcats Sunday, a second game will be played to determine the region's participant in the Women's College World Series next week in Oklahoma City.
Arizona Coach Mike Candrea:
"The bottom line is to win, and we did that. Alicia pitched a good game. We scored some runs early and I think we could have gotten a lot more on them, which was disappointing for me. I thought in the first four innings we were a little blase."
UA pitcher Alicia Hollowell
"They were pretty aggressive and they came out early, hitting pitches early in the count. The defense did a good job."