June 3, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- No. 15 Tennessee took advantage of an erratic outing from Kenzie Fowler and handed Arizona its second straight World Series mercy rule loss in a 9-0 drubbing of the 10-seed Wildcats.
The freshman Fowler (34-7) was called for eight illegal pitches - including three to the first batter, Raven Chavenne - that set the tone for the game.
Tennessee (48-13) did its damage in the third inning, with the help of five illegal pitches. Kelly Grieve drew a leadoff walk, moved over on a sacrifice bunt and scored on two subsequent illegal pitches. Two walks later, Erinn Webb doubled home Tiffany Huff and Lauren Gibson to open a 3-0 lead, and then scored on Fowler's eighth illegal pitch.
The Lady Vols tacked on three unearned runs in the fourth on four hits and a K'Lee Arredondo error.
Jessica Spigner hit a double to left center to plate two runs off reliever Sarah Akamine, bringing the final margin.
Wildcat pitchers walked a WCWS record-tying nine batters.
Arizona now has a streak of 33 consecutive innings in the WCWS without scoring an earned run.
UA will play Washington, who lost to Georgia on Thursday night, at 1:30 p.m. local time (11:30 a.m. Tucson time) Saturday. The Huskies swept the season series with the Wildcats in Seattle in early April.
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Mike Candrea Opening comment:
"First off I would like to congratulate Tennessee for doing their job. On the other hand, it was a very difficult game to go through for a couple of reasons. I don't know how many illegal pitches there were, but that kind of set the tone for the game and, illegal or not illegal, I think one of the big things that is confusing to us as coaches is you play all year to get to here and what they were calling tonight has never been called. So how does the kid fix it when she thinks she hasn't done anything wrong? Second thing is, I believe that if the rule came from the coaches association, which most things do in our sport, it might be a little easier to understand because the way the interpretations have come this year, they came in February and they started calling all of these illegal pitches. I would think that in most sports, if you're going to make changes on the interpretation of a rule, then do it in August or September and give people warning as to what you're going to call and how you're going to call it.
"All I can say right now, I don't feel sorry for us. Although I think at this arena, this young lady (pitcher Kenzie Fowler) deserved a lot more than what she got tonight and really made it tough. On the other hand, we didn't do much to help ourselves out offensively. But you know, at this time of the year you have to play all parts of the game. You have to pitch, play defense, get some timely hits. You can't have anything that goes on vacation when you get to the College World Series, and tonight we just made it tough on ourselves and they took advantage."
On moving forward:
"We've got our work cut out, and like I told the girls, we can sit around and feel sorry for ourselves -- which we're not going to do. We need to regroup and get ready for the next game with whoever we play. I've seen things happen at the College World Series. You've got to win the first one to win the second one, third one, fourth one and fifth one. I've seen it happen. By no means is this team going to throw in the towel."
On his team's offensive struggles at the WCWS the last few years:
"One of the things you have to have here is short-term memory -- keep doing what you're doing and things will turn around. We're a decent hitting team. We've had our struggles, but I think the more you talk about it the worse it gets. It's over with. We've got 48 hours to put a game together and get back on a roll. That's the big thing."
ARIZONA JUNIOR OUTFIELDER Brittany Lastrapes On how she is handling her illness and how it keeps her from being involved with the team:
"It's hard because I'm a junior now, so I feel like I need to be a leader. But it's been really hard traveling and the weather here is really tough. It's definitely a struggle. I feel like all I can do now is have good at-bats and get on base and sort of lead with my play, knowing that I can't really be cheering as much as I want to. I'm really worn out right now."
ARIZONA SENIOR SHORTSTOP K'Lee Arredondo On Tennessee pitcher Ivy Renfro:
"She threw a little bit faster than we've seen the last few weeks, and we just weren't getting it on time. She was just throwing it by us. I don't think we made the adjustments."
ARIZONA FRESHMAN PITCHER Kenzie Fowler
On the explanation that she was given by umpires on illegal pitches:
"I asked what I was doing wrong. I was leaving the mound when I took off. I've never been called for it in my life, but obviously I need to fix it within 48 hours."
On how the umpires' calls affected her pitching the rest of the game:
"Honestly, I felt like I was really prepared for the game, really focused. I have been preparing for this all week and I don't think I could have prepared better. I thought that I was pitching well, but it's hard to rebound from something that is so dramatic, and something that can change the game when a girl should be out and is safe. Obviously I need to fix it, but it is hard to recover from something that just totally ruins your rhythm."
On how she'll prepare for the next game:
"Just go look at film, and see what I do. If I need to go out and pitch tomorrow and fix it until it looks legal, I'll do that. But with 48 hours I will fix it."