Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 1 Softball Defeats No. 6 Alabama, Advances to Semis
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 18, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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FULLERTON, Calif. ?- The No. 1 Arizona softball team (26-2) defeated No. 6 Alabama (24-4), 2-0, in the quarterfinals of the Judi Garman Classic.


The Wildcats scored their first run of the game on a fifth-inning RBI single by Autumn Champion, scoring Caitlin Lowe.


Alicia Hollowell (14-1) and Alabama’s Stephanie VanBrakle engaged in a pitcher’s duel that featured only two runs, eight hits, and 16 strikeouts between them.  Hollowell struck out 12 Tide batters, walking one.  The shutout was her 10th of the year.


UA had a pair of runners reach via walks in the third, but was unable to score any runs.


The Wildcats had multiple fly balls caught at the wall, including a Sam Banister shot to center in the fourth and a Callista Balko deep fly out right on the left field line in the fifth.


UA finally broke the scoreless tie in the fifth inning on an Autumn Champion RBI single.  After Balko’s leadoff fly out, Adrienne Acton reached on an infield single.  Caitlin Lowe reached on a fielder’s choice, forcing Acton out at second.  With Champion at the plate, Lowe advanced to second on a wild pitch and scored on Champion’s bleeder of a single.  The inning ended as Champion attempted to stretch her single into a double.


The Wildcats tacked on an insurance run in the top of the seventh, off of two singles and two sacrifice bunts. 


Up Next: Arizona next plays in the semifinals against the winner of Saturday afternoon’s Texas-Notre Dame match-up.  First pitch is set for 8:30 a.m. (PST) on Sunday.  With a victory, UA would advance to the championship game.


Game Notes:

-         Arizona had at least one runner reach base in six of seven innings

-         Caitlin Lowe extended her career and team-high 15-game hitting streak.

-         Laine Roth’s 11-game hitting streak was snapped.