March 3, 2002
TUCSON--Candace Abrams' pinch-hit single in the bottom of the fourth cleared the bases to give UA its first runs in a tightly played 4-1 victory over Long Beach State in the final game of the Wildcats' Hillenbrand Invitational softball tournament Sunday afternoon.
UA pitcher Jenny Gladding threw a two-hitter and struck out 12 to help Arizona win its 63rd consecutive home game. She improved her record to 10-2 and has won eight straight.
Long Beach State's Lindsey Knoff held the Cats to two hits through the first three innings and six overall but didn't get much help from the 49ers hitters.
The Cats (23-2) loaded the bases with a one-out walk by Jackie Coburn, a bunt single by Allyson Von Lichtenstein and Lisha Ribellia being hit by a pitch. Lovie Jung hit into a 5-2 fielder's choice for the second out, then Abrams singled down the line and 49ers left fielder Arleigh Thorp let the ball skip past to allow Jung to score from first.
UA added an unearned fourth run in the fifth when Mackenize Vandergeest doubled to right center and an error allowed Gladding to score easily from first.
Long Beach State (17-8) took a 1-0 lead in the third after UA pitcher Jenny Gladding walked leadoff batter Christina Zepeda, hit Natalie Walker with a pitch and Jamie Farnworth doubled off the glove of second baseman Lisha Ribellia chasing a looping fly ball into right field. The rally might have been more productive but UA center fielder Crystal Farley turned a double play after catching a line drive and gunning down Walker at home plate.
Arizona coach Mike Candrea and Long Beach State assistant Kim Sowder, the first base coach, were both ejected by home plate umpire Mike Bartling in the top of the first after separate incidents arguing calls. Candrea had never been tossed from a game at home in his 17 years at Arizona. UA assistant Larry Ray took over duties for the Cats.
The No. 2-ranked Wildcats posted the best record in the round-robin tournament at 5-0. Long Beach State finished 2-3.
Southern Mississippi 3-2
Long Beach State 2-3
Eastern Michigan 1-4
Evansville 5, Eastern Michigan 1
Eastern Michigan 6, Long Beach State 5
Southern Mississippi 5, Long Beach State 2
Arizona 18, Southern Mississippi 0
Arizona 5, Hawaii 1
Hawaii 7, Evansville
Southern Mississippi 6, Eastern Michigan 3
Hawaii 3, Southern Mississippi 2
Long Beach State 17, Hawaii 2
Arizona 9, Eastern Michigan 0
Arizona 8, Evansville 0
Long Beach State 7, Evansville 1
Hawaii 7, Eastern Michigan 2
Southern Miss 1, Evansville 0
Arizona 4, Long Beach State 1