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Finch Blast Starts Rally to Put Cats in NCAA Title Game
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 06/22/2004
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May 26, 2002

OKLAHOMA CITY - Jennie Finch capped an 11-inning pitching effort Sunday with a two-out home run to ignite a four-run rally and propel No. 2 Arizona past No. 21 Florida State, 6-2, and into the Women's College World Series championship game Monday.

Arizona will face California at 12:15 p.m. (CDT) in the NCAA title game Monday, to be shown live on cable on ESPN.

Finch threw the entire three hour and 25-minute game, striking out 17, walking three and allowing five hits. After her blast, Leneah Manuma walked, Mackenzie Vandergeest was hit by a pitch and Jackie Coburn drilled a three-run homer to left-center.to punctuate the victory.

It took Arizona hitters most of the action to get untracked, stranding 13 runners before the big rally in the 11th off the second FSU pitcher, Leslie Malerich (35-14).

 
 

Finch improved to 34-5 and pushed UA to 55-11. FSU dropped to 55-20 and was eliminated from the WCWS..

Arizona loaded the bases in the first but came up empty off FSU starter Jessica van der Linden. Lovie Jung led off with a single to left, moved to second on a sacrifice by Courtney Fossatti and to third on Finch's grounder. Manuma and Vandergeest walked, but Coburn popped to shortstop.

The Cats put a runner in scoring position again in the second. With two outs, freshman rightfielder Crystal Farley beat out an infield slap hit to shortstop in her first-even WCWS at-bat, then stole second. But Jung grounded to short to end the threat.

Florida State scored an unearned to take a 1-0 lead in the third. Finch, who had struck out five in a row through two innings, gave up a hit to Elisa Velasco who advanced to second on a throwing error by shortstop Jung on the play. An out later, leadoff batter Shundra Colzie singled to left to put runners at the corners, then Kimmy Carter singled in Colzie.

A force out and strikeout ended the inning, but the run was the first scored off Finch in 28 innings of World Series play dating to last year.

UA answered quickly in the top of the fourth. Vandergeest led off the UA fourth with a double to right-center and two outs later scored from third on a wild pitch by van der Linden.

The Cats scored an unearned run with two outs to take a 2-1 lead in the top of the fifth. Leneah Manuma singled up the middle and Vandergeest reached on an error. Carrie Hagen entered to pinch run for Manuma and scored on a single that bounced away from shortstop Tatiana George.

The Seminoles tied the game with a one-out solo home run by Colzie, the first off Finch in 42 innings and seven postseason appearances this year. It was Colzie's first home run in 25 games and fifth of the year.

Arizona squandered an opportunity by stranding two runners in the top of the seventh. Finch reached on an error, and pinch runner Rebekah Quiroz beat the throw to second on Manuma's fielder's choice sacrifice bunt. But Vandergeest forced Quiroz at third on a fielder's choice for the first out, Coburn popped to reliever Leslie Malerich.

In the ninth, Fossatti led off with a walk and Manuma reached on an error to put two on with one out. But Malerich struck out Vandergeest and Coburn to strand the runners.

A superb defensive play helped the Cats hang on for at least another inning. George led off the FSU ninth with a single to left, but Finch whirled on Monique Marier's sacrifice bunt attempt and started a 1-6-4 double play, then struck out Beth Wade for the third out.

Finch struck out the side in the 11th and also in the second inning.She allowed only one hit after the fifth-inning homer by Colzie.

                             University of Arizona Softball
                           Arizona Wildcats vs Florida State
                    May 26, 2002 at Oklahoma City (ASA Hall of Fame)

Arizona Wildcats 6 (55-11) Florida State 2 (55-20)

Player AB R H BI Player AB R H BI --------------------------------------- --------------------------------------- Lovieanne Jung ss.......... 6 0 2 0 Shundra Colzie cf/rf....... 5 1 2 1 Courtney Fossatti lf....... 4 0 1 0 Kimmy Carter c............. 4 0 1 1 Jennie Finch p............. 6 1 1 1 Jess van der Linden p/cf... 4 0 0 0 Rebekah Quiroz pr......... 0 0 0 0 Brandi Stuart 2b........... 5 0 0 0 Leneah Manuma 1b........... 3 1 1 0 Tatiana George ss.......... 4 0 1 0 Carrie Hagen pr........... 0 1 0 0 Monique Marier lf.......... 4 0 0 0 Mackenz. Vandergeest c..... 4 2 1 0 Beth Wade 1b............... 4 0 0 0 Jackie Coburn 3b........... 6 1 2 4 Elisa Velasco dh........... 4 0 1 0 Jenny Gladding dh.......... 6 0 0 0 Shandra Colzie pr......... 0 1 0 0 Meaghan Finnerty rf........ 4 0 0 0 Becky Brock 3b............. 2 0 0 0 Crystal Farley cf.......... 4 0 1 0 Jackie Hirschfeld ph...... 1 0 0 0 Lisha Ribellia 2b.......... 0 0 0 0 Skyla Cox rf............... 0 0 0 0 Leslie Malerich p......... 0 0 0 0 Totals..................... 43 6 9 5 Totals..................... 37 2 5 2

Score by Innings R H E ---------------------------------------------- Arizona Wildcats.... 000 110 000 04 - 6 9 1 Florida State....... 001 010 000 00 - 2 5 3 ----------------------------------------------

E - Jung; Stuart; George; Brock. DP - Arizona 1. LOB - Arizona 13; Florida St. 7. 2B - Vandergeest. HR - Finch(16); Coburn(14); Colzie, Shu.(5). HBP - Vandergeest. SH - Fossatti; Manuma. SB - Farley.

Arizona Wildcats IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF FO GO ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jennie Finch W,34-5....... 11.0 5 2 1 5 17 1 0 0 0 37 42 8 7

Florida State IP H R ER BB SO WP BK HP IBB AB BF FO GO ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- Jess van der Linden ....... 6.0 7 2 1 4 0 1 0 0 0 24 29 6 11 Leslie Malerich L,35-14... 5.0 2 4 4 2 5 0 0 1 0 19 23 7 3

WP - Finch; vanderLinden. HB - Malerich.

Strikeouts - Finch; Vandergeest; Coburn; Gladding; Finnerty; Colzie, Shu.; Carter; vanderLinden 2; Stuart 4; George 2; Marier 3; Wade 3; Hirschfeld. Walks - Fossatti; Manuma 2; Vandergeest; Finnerty; Farley; Carter; vanderLinden; George; Marier; Brock.

Umpires - Start: 2:30 Time: 3:25 Attendance: 4465

Game: 66

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