April 12, 2003
TUCSON - Jackie Coburn's grand slam punctuated a six-run fourth inning to break open a tight game and lead top-ranked Arizona to a 7-5 victory over No. 6 California before a college softball crowd of 2,471 Saturday night.
The Cats had to weather a three-run rally by California in the top of the seventh to hang on for the victory.
It took UA a while to get untracked. The Cats loaded the bases in the first but failed to score. Autumn Champion led off with an infield single, wasdorced at second by Courtney Fossatti and Lovie Jung and Mackenzie Vandergeest drew walks. But Cal pitcher Kristina Thorson struck out Jackie Coburn and Wendy Allen to end the threat.
The Bears (34-11 overall and 4-4 in the Pac-10) answered to fill the bases in the top of the second, but took advantage to take a 2-0 lead. Kaleo Eldridge tripled down the right-field line to lead off the frame, then an out later Jessica Pamanian and Chelsea Spencer drew walks. Kristen Morley singled off UA pitcher Alicia Hollowell's glove to push Eldredge and Pamanian across, then UA second baseman Lisha Ribellia turned a double play off a liner to end the rally.
UA (38-4, 7-1) scored an unearned run to cut it to 2-1 in the bottom of the inning. Crystal Farley doubled with two outs, then scored on a throwing error on Champion's bouncer to second.
The Golden Bears threatened again in the third, loading the bases on hits by Lindsay James, Veronica Nelson and Eldridge, but Hollowell got a pop up and a liner to end the inning.
Arizona sent eight batters to the plate in the fourth. Lisha Ribellia singled and later scored on another throwing error by shortstop Spencer to let Farley reach base. After singles by Champion and Fossatti, Farley scored when Vandergeest was hit by a pitch to force in a run, setting up Coburn's blast to right field. It was her 12th home run of the year and first grand slam of the season.
Arizona managed only six hits off Thorson (10-5). UA winner Hollowell, who lost to Stanford on Friday night, wasn't at her best, giving up a career-high 11 hits and striking out only five.
Hollowell gave up four hits and hit two batters in the seventh inning alone. Cal had a sacrifice fly by Courtney Scott and a two-run double by Eldridge to finish the scoring before Hollowell struck out Pamanian with the bases loaded to end the game.
Hollowell set a UA freshman record with her 25th victory of the year, against three losses.
The two teams complete the two-game series at 1 p.m. Sunday.