March 1, 2002
TUCSON--Power hitting and pitching punctuated No. 2-ranked Arizona's 18-0 rout of Southern Mississippi in first-day action of the Wildcats' Hillenbrand Invitational softball tournament Friday afternoon.
UA pitcher Jenny Gladding won her sixth consecutive decision to improve to 8-2 on the year. She tossed a two-hitter and struck out seven. In the meantime the Cats collected 12 hits with half of them home runs.
Gladding drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in UA's first run, then Mackenzie Vandergeest blasted a grand slam home run to left to make it 5-0 in the top of the first, with UA playing as the visitors.
A wild pitch by Southern Miss pitcher Felicia Gonzales (2-2) scored Allyson Von Lichtenstein from third base in the third inning scored another run, but the big hit in the inning was Leneah Manuma's grand slam -- her 11th homer and third grand slam of the year.
Vandergeest led off the fourth with a solo home run, then with the bases loaded Jennie Finch hit a high wind-blown pop-up near the plate that fell in for a single, driving in two more runs to make it 15-0.
Jackie Coburn followed a Southern Miss (7-8) error with a two-run homer in the fifth, then rightfieldr Candace Abrams made it back-to-back with a solo shot to right to finish the scoring in the five-inning game shortened by the eight-run rule.