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Wildcats in National Semifinal
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/03/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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OKLAHOMA CITY ?- The Arizona softball team is headed to a WCWS semifinal after a 3-0 victory over DePaul, in an elimination game as part of the 2007 NCAA Division I Softball Championships.

 

The Wildcats used a two-hit shutout by Taryne Mowatt (38-11), who has yet to allow an earned run in 22 WCWS innings, to end the Blue Demons’ season.  Mowatt has pitched every inning of UA’s eight postseason games and has allowed only five earned runs in 55 postseason innings.

 

The junior All-American allowed no hits until the sixth inning and narrowly missed out on becoming the first pitcher in program history to toss a no-hitter in the WCWS.  She ended up giving up two singles and four walks in her 16th complete-game shutout of the season.

 

UA improved to 46-13-1 with the win, while DePaul’s season came to a close with a 47-14 record.  DePaul’s Tracie Adix (22-4) took the loss after throwing five innings of two-run, seven-hit work. 

 

With the game knotted 0-0, the Wildcats finally broke through with a pair of runs in the fifth inning.  Sam Banister started things with a one-out walk, before pinch runner Jill Malina moved to second on the first of two K’Lee Arredondo singles on the day.  Adrienne Acton followed with a bunt single to load the bases for Caitlin Lowe.  With UA’s four-time, first-team NFCA All-American at the plate, Malina was picked off third base, leaving two on with two out.  That’s when Lowe flied a double over the heads of the drawn in DePaul outfielders to plate both Arredondo and Acton.

 

UA tacked on an insurance run in the seventh with the same part of the order.  Against reliever Stephanie Blagaich, Arredondo led off with a single to center and moved into scoring position on an Acton sacrifice bunt.  One out later, Chelsie Mesa came up with her second hit of the day to drive Arredondo in for UA’s third run of the contest.  That was the last of 10 Wildcat hits in the contest.

 

The win pits Arizona against Washington ?- winners of five straight ?- on Sunday in a noon (CDT) matchup that will be televised on ESPN HD.  Should the Wildcats defeat the Huskies, the two teams will play for a berth in the Championship Series later that day at 6 p.m. (CDT) on ESPN2.  Arizona defeated Washington two times in three games this year.

 

Game Notes:

-          Callista Balko threw out two DePaul base stealers, giving opposing runners two successful stolen bases in five 2007 WCWS attempts.  She has thrown out five of eight attempted base stealers in her WCWS career.

-          With a third-inning hit, Kristie Fox has hit safely in 13 of the last 14 games.  She has reached base nine times out of 11 WCWS plate appearances.

-          Arizona’s seniors ?- Caitlin Lowe, Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox ?- combined to go 5-for-12 with three RBI in the game.

-          The attendance figure will not be available until after the conclusion of the Baylor-Northwestern matchup, but is expected to challenge the WCWS-record crowd of 8.049 that saw Oklahoma win the 2000 national title.

-          Arizona improves to 53-3 all-time when it scores at least one run in WCWS games.

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