June 5, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Arizona finally got to two-time USA Softball Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie at the best possible time and eliminated the third-seeded Huskies from the Women's College World Series with a 4-3 win Saturday afternoon.
With the victory, Arizona will move on to another elimination game with Hawai'i tonight at 8:30 p.m. CT. (6:30 p.m. Tucson time). The Wildcats defeated the Rainbow Wahine 8-3 on Feb. 27 in Palm Springs, Calif.
Washington committed three errors that led to three unearned runs. Lawrie (40-8) was charged with one run on six hits, but struck out 12 in her career-ending loss.
Kenzie Fowler (35-7) picked up her first WCWS win, striking out eight and allowing one earned run as well.
After being swept in the conference season series with the Huskies, Arizona (49-12) improved to 7-1 against UW (50-9) in the postseason.
Karissa Buchanan got the first Arizona hit in the third, after Lawrie had struck out seven of the first eight UA hitters. Brittany Lastrapes blooped a single into shallow right to move Buchanan to third, then she scored on Lauren Schutzler's infield single. K'Lee Arredondo hit a grounder that second baseman Amanda Fleischman couldn't corral, allowing Lastrapes to score from third. Stacie Chambers popped out to end the threat, but Arizona headed into the bottom half with a 2-0 lead.
An illegal pitch turned a groundout by Fleischman into a base hit, as she singled the next pitch up the middle. But after a sacrifice bunt, she was gunned down trying to score on a throw from Lastrapes after a Kimi Pohlman single.
Lawrie singled to leadoff the bottom of the fourth, then - after Fowler's fifth illegal pitch of the game that negated a double play - pinch runner Maggie Wagner scored on a Niki Williams single.
Buchanan drew a one-out walk in the fifth, then Schutzler forced UW's second error of the day with a two-out hard grounder back to Fleischman to keep the inning alive. Arredondo capitalized with an RBI-single to shallow left, giving UA a 3-1 lead.
Washington got one back in the sixth. Lawrie walked to lead things off, then Williams drew a one-out walk to put two on. Hooch Fagaly's high pop was caught by Buchanan in foul territory and Lawrie advanced to third, but Buchanan's throw to try to nab Williams at second went awry and into left field. Lawrie broke for home, but Lastrapes' throw was too high for Chambers to handle at the plate, allowing the senior Lawrie to cut the deficit to one. Fowler struck out Morgan Stuart swinging to end the inning.
Arizona picked up another two out rally in the seventh. Lastrapes reached on a bobbled ball by Husky third baseman Stuart with two outs. Schutzler hit an infield single to third, then Arredondo singled through the right side to score pinch runner Becca Tikey.
In the bottom half, Taylor Smith blooped a ball into centerfield that Schutzler dove for and missed, earning her a triple. Fowler put pinch hitter Bailey Stenson down on strikes, but Jenn Salling knocked in Smith with a sacrifice fly. Pohlman flew out to left to end the game.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Mike Candrea
"First of all, I just want to tip my hat to Washington and the great run that they have had. Being a conference foe, you obviously hate to have to face one another. It was a great day for the Wildcats. I think we finally got a chance to just play the game. Kenzie (Fowler) threw a heck of a ball game and we had some people really step up. We're kind of used to those games in conference play and I think for the first time in awhile our kids played the game a little relaxed and with a little more confidence. I am very proud of them."
On the controversial calls during the game:
"There were some interesting calls to say the least. I don't even want to go there. I've talked a lot about it. Our job is to correct things. We would just like a little more information before the College World Series, which is what I said the other day. I admire Kenzie (Fowler) for fighting through what she did. For a freshman with the composure she showed throughout the day against a very tough team -- it makes me really proud."
On Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie:
"She's a very special athlete. On the mound, what makes her tough is that she has command of so many pitches. She has great location. Her speeds can get up in the high 60s, which makes it tough no matter what. I really believe what makes her so special is her off-speed drop. That's a very difficult pitch to pick up as a hitter and she throws with a lot of confidence. She's able to keep hitters off balance but she's also really good at locating pitches when she needs to. She's a competitor. If you've watched her career -- and I've seen it both internationally and where she is today -- she's a young lady that has a lot to be proud of for where she has come in this game. She's a special athlete and is very deserving of everything she has got."
On the team's preparation for Washington:
"We knew it was going to be a tough one. I told the kids that we had to make the ground our friend. You're not going to sit in there, swing away and expect to do much against (Lawrie). You have to make things happen. Karissa (Buchanan) really did get us going and you saw that the short game had a little effect. It's tough to win when you make three errors and it's tough to win, too, when you give people three and four and five opportunities at bat. We had some interesting situations where we had to reload again."
ARIZONA SENIOR SHORTSTOP K'Lee Arredondo
On the team's performance against Danielle Lawrie:
"I think we were all pretty confident. Karissa (Buchanan) got us going every time we scored. We put the ball in play and good things happened. We were in the game, our crowd was in the game. All around, it just got our juices going and we just wanted to score some runs."
On the team's mentality going into tonight's game against Hawai'i:
"I think that today's win for us was huge. I know our sophomore and junior class has never experienced a win at the College World Series. This was huge for them and it was huge for our entire team. We went 0-and-3 against Washington this whole year and for us to come out and beat them the way we did, it was a huge confidence boost. I think with pitching, defense, offense -- I really believe it's going to help us roll into tonight. We just have to put it all together again and come out swinging, playing defense, and hopefully Kenzie's on her game again and we're good."