June 5, 2010
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. -- Kenzie Fowler threw a two-hitter and Brittany Lastrapes had a three-hit game as the 10-seed Wildcats eliminated upstart Hawai'i, 5-1, Saturday evening to advance to the semifinals of the Women's College World Series.
In front of a WCWS single-session record 9,080 single session record in attendance, Fowler picked up her second win of the day and upped her season record to 36-7 with a 13-strikeout performance.
Arizona (50-12) will play Tennessee at 2:30 p.m. CT (12:30 p.m. Tucson time) Sunday, needing to win twice to advance to the WCWS finals.
UA got things started early. Brittany Lastrapes took the first pitch back to pitcher Stephanie Ricketts for a bunt single and Lauren Schutzler sacrificed her over. K'Lee Arredondo followed with a bunt, but the throw from Ricketts went past first baseman Amanda Tauali'i and allowed Lastrapes to score. Two Ricketts strikeouts ended the inning with UA up 1-0.
UH (50-16) answered back with a solo home run by Traci Yoshikawa in the third, knotting the score.
But Arizona responded in their half of the frame. Buchanan led off with a single, then Lastrapes moved her to third with a single of her own. After a groundout, Arredondo doubled to left, plating Buchanan. Chambers followed up with a sac fly to score Lastrapes and open up a 3-1 lead.
The Cats tacked two more on in the fourth, all with two outs. Karissa Buchanan singled after Kristen Arriola drew a walk earlier in the inning, then Lastrapes singled to right but Arriola was held up at third. Schutzler hit a rocket grounder to second that Yoshikawa mishandled, allowing Arriola and Lastrapes to score unearned runs and boost UA to a 5-1 lead after four complete.
From then on, Fowler allowed just four base runners and struck out eight - including retiring the side on strikeouts in the sixth - to hold the potent Wahine offense at bay.
Ricketts (30-10) allowed five runs on seven hits in 3.2 innings. Kaia Parnaby pitched two-and-a-third innings of shutout ball, walking one and striking out five.
Candrea postgame quick take
ARIZONA HEAD COACH Mike Candrea
"First off, I just want to congratulate Hawaii on a tremendous year. I know they have to feel good about what they accomplished. Today was a good day to be a Wildcat; a hard day, but we woke up this morning and said we were going to take it one pitch at a time and try to ride our way back and I think the team did a great job riding Kenzie (Fowler's) tremendous performance through some adversity. She definitely threw not like a freshman but like a seasoned veteran. Tonight was nice to get our offense going for a little bit, too."
On playing small ball:
"We talked about using the ground and the ground is our best friend this time of the year. Too many times I think we're swinging the bat too darn hard. We have to less emphasize the power and just be on time and be more efficient. Our short game is obviously a big part of our offense. (Karissa) Buchanan has come up big for us. She's like a leadoff hitter. She started a couple of rallies today and is really one of our hot hitters through the Pac-10 season. If you combine the two, I think the only downfall is eliminating strikeouts. If you put the ball in play I think your offense has a chance of producing some runs. Today we did a good job of putting the ball in play and made them play some defense, and things happened and we had a couple of key hits and scored some runs."
On fixing the slump in the middle of the order:
"It's nothing you can do overnight. I have a lot of confidence in these kids. I've seen them swing the bat and they were a big part of getting us here. Sometimes you get into this arena and you try a little too hard. Sometimes the thought process is just too much thinking and not enough of just see the ball, hit the ball. I think we just need to simplify things."
On Sunday opponent Tennessee:
"They're a good team with good balance. The one thing Tennessee has done is kind of copy the prototype we've been doing for years and that's having some speed. Their first three hitters can cause a lot of havoc because they're not one dimensional. They can short game, they can swing away. I think they're a really balanced team. (Ivy Renfroe) is a pitcher that we need to try and figure out. If we're going to get the job done we need to get to her. If we make contact and put the ball in play I think we'll have an opportunity."
ARIZONA FRESHMAN PITCHER Kenzie Fowler
On her performance late in the game:
"Run support helps, obviously. I felt loose the last couple of innings. Hawaiii is a great team and if you miss your spot they'll make you pay. I missed my spot on that one and she (Traci Yoshikawa) took it a long way. You can't really miss with them and have to mix it around."