OKLAHOMA CITY ?- With the game tied 0-0 at 1:20 a.m. local time, Tennessee scored the game’s only run in a 1-0 Arizona defeat at the Women’s College World Series early Saturday morning.
The loss moved the Wildcats to the elimination side of the WCWS bracket, as UA is slated to face either Arizona State or DePaul in a 6 p.m. (CDT) matchup on Saturday on ESPN.
The loss brought Arizoina’s record to 45-13-1 in 2007, while Tennessee improved to 61-6.
Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt (37-11) pitched a gem of a game ?- allowing no earned runs on two hits in six innings of work. She struck out 10 Lady Vol hitters.
Tennessee pitcher Monica Abbott (48-3) allowed six hits in the shutout and loaded the bases twice, but 16 strikeouts kept the Wildcat offense at bay.
Arizona got off to a quick start as Caitlin Lowe led off the game with a single back to the circle. However, during Chelsie Mesa’s at-bat, Lowe was called out for leaving early on a stolen base attempt. After Mesa struck out, Kristie Fox drew a walk, but Abbott’s second strikeout of the inning ended the top of the first.
After going down in order in the second, the Wildcats got another leadoff runner aboard in the third. Having snapped a six-game hitting streak the night before, K’Lee Arredondo singled through the left side to get things going. Following an Adrienne Acton strikeout, Caitlin Lowe singled to put runners on the corners. Abbott struck out Mesa, before Tennessee elected to walk Kristie Fox to load the bases. The strategy paid off, as Abbott retired Jenae Leles to end the threat with three Wildcats left on base.
UT designated player India Chiles led off the fourth with a single to center, breaking up Mowatt’s shot at a no-hitter. Lady Vol first baseman Tiffany Huff attempted to move Chiles to second with a bunt, but she popped the bunt back to the circle, where Mowatt snagged the ball on its way down. Mowatt then hurled the ball to first to double off Chiles who had strayed too far off the base.
With the score still locked at 0-0 in the top of the sixth, Fox reached base for the third time in as many plate appearances. With one out, the senior shortstop singled to center field. Next, Leles and Fox executed a successful hit and run to put runners on the corners with just one out. Abbott then issued her second intentional pass of the night, walking Callista Balko to load the bases. She then induced Laine Roth into popping to second and struck out Sam Banister to give UA a grand total of seven runners left on base.
In the bottom of the sixth, Tennessee broke the scoreless tie with an unearned run. After issuing a leadoff walk to Liane Horiuchi, Mowatt struck out Kenora Posey to bring up the top of the order. She then walked Lindsay Schutzler to put runners on first and second. Next, Chiles singled up the middle ?- bringing Horiuchi around third. At that point, Lowe fielded the ball cleanly and hurled a perfect strike to Callista Balko who had blocked off the plate to ward of Horiuchi. With two outs, Huff grounded the ball to second, where Mesa mishandled the ball, allowing Schutzler to score the game’s only run.
In the top of the seventh, Acton reached on a one-out, infield single, but Abbott retired Lowe and Mesa to end the game
- The game began at 11:23 p.m. (CDT) after weather delayed the start of Washington’s win over Northwestern.
- The crowd of 7,744 marked the second-largest single-session attendance figure in Women’s College World Series history.
- Taryne Mowatt’s fifth-inning strikeout Erinn Webb was the Wildcat ace’s 800th career punchout.
- The loss snapped a nine-game postseason winning streak for Arizona.
Up Next: The loss sent Arizona to the elimination side of the bracket, where the Wildcats will face either DePaul or Arizona State on Saturday at 6 p.m. (CDT). The game will be televised live on ESPN.