May 25, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY - Chelsea Spencer got the key hit in a narrow 12-inning , three-hour game, giving California a 2-1 victory over top-ranked Arizona and forcing a second semifinal game later in the day in the Women's College World Series, to see which team will play in the national title game Monday.
The two teams were scheduled to play at 6:30 p.m., but the length of the first game was likely to push that back a bit.
Cal's rally started with a leadoff single by Courtney Scott, a walk by Veronica Nelson and a wild pitch by Alicia Hollowell. After a pop-out, Kaleo Eldredge drew a walk to load the bases. Spencer then laced a 2-1 pitch past third base for the winning hit.
The teams stranded a combined 25 runners, with 15 left on base by Cal and 10 by Arizona -- though Cal had three on when the winning run scored.
It was the most innings played this year for both teams and both Cal pitcher Kelly Anderson (22-11) and UA's Hollowell (40-4) went the distance. Hollowell walked a career-high seven, struck out 15. Anderson struck out eight and walked four.
Hollowell created a jam for herself in the first by dropping a ground ball for an error to let Vicky Galindo aboard. Lindsay James sacrificed Galindo to second and after the second out, Cal home run hitter Veronica Nelson was issued an intentional walk. Haley Woods flied out to center with a drive that was held up by a stiff wind to end the inning.
Her shaky start continued in the second inning, with a leadoff walk to Kaleo Eldredge and a sac bunt by Chelsea Spencer. After the second out, Hollowell walked No. 9 hitter Kristen Morley but got Galindo on a roller back to the box to thwart the threat.
Meantime, Cal starter Kelly Anderson struck out the Cats' leadoff hitter each of the first three innings in tossing no-hit ball, allowing only Lovie Jung to reach base, on a walk in the first.
In the bottom of the third, Hollowell struck out side in the heart of Cal's order, though did issue a second intentional pass to Nelson.
The Cats turned to the short game themselves to take 1-0 lead in the fourth. Courtnet Fossatti tried to bunt herself aboard but was thrown out. Jung drew a walk and cleanup hitter Mackenzie Vandergeest hit a sacrifice bunt to moved her to second. Wendy Allen fouled off four pitches with two strikes before doubling a 3-2 pitch to right-center for the RBI and the lead.
The Bears answered, though, getting their first hits off Hollowell when Eldredge singled to left-center and Spencer ripped a single down the leftfield line to open the Cal fourth. But Hollowell dug in and struck out Erin Manahan, Morley and Galindo.
Arizona threatened to blow the game open in the top of the fifth, with one-out consecutive singles by Lisha Ribellia, Crystal Farley and Autumn Champion -- her first hit in nine Series at-bats -- but Anderson got Fossatti on a called third strike and Lovie Jung to ground back to the circle, stranding three runners.
Again the the seventh, Arizona had a good chance to score after two errors put runners on first and third. Jung hit a liner to the right-center gap but the wind held it up for Kristen Bayless to track it down for the third out.
California staged a seventh-inning rally to tie the game, fueled by an error by All-American Lovie Jung at shortstop. Hollowell struck out leadoff hitter Kristen Morley, but Galindo reached on Jung's error. Lindsay James singled her to second, and Courtney Scott drove her in with a single to center. Hollowell struck out Nelson and got a grounder to end the rally, stranding two.
Both pitchers retired the sides in order in the next three innings until it took a superb defensive play by UA to avoid the loss in the 10th. Cal's Haley Woods singled off the centerfield fence with two outs in the inning. Eldredge then drove a liner down the leftfield line that Champion dropped, but recovered to throw to Jung for a relay to cut Woods at the plate for the third out.
NOTES... Three of Hollowell's walks were intentionally to Nelson, who's received 42 intentional walks among 101 overall... The hits by Allen, Champion and Ribellia were their first-ever in WCWS play... Hollowell had double-digit strikeouts for the third consecutive Series game and 15th overall this year... The extra-inning game was only Arizona's second of the season. UA beat Oregon State, 6-4, in 11 innings at Corvallis on April 27. The Bears longest previous game this season was a 1-0 loss to Arizona State on May 4 in nine innings...