May 17, 2009
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Lauren Schutzler hit a three-run home run in the fifth, giving ninth-seeded Arizona a lead it would never relinquish in a 4-2 win over Purdue in its final game at the 2009 Softball Championship Regional Round.
With the win, Arizona was crowned champions of the Louisville Regional, and will advance to Super Regional play.
In a rare defensive struggle, Sarah Akamine (22-6) gave up one earned run on only two hits and one walk, striking out six in the complete game victory - her second of the weekend.
Tucson native Dana Alcocer (5-8) scattered seven hits and gave up four runs, though only one of them was earned. The Canyon Del Oro graduate walked five and struck out the same number in the complete game affair.
Seven base runners in three innings produced no runs for UA (44-14). But in the fourth, Arizona planted a two-out rally. Schutzler singled, Karissa Buchanan was hit on the arm by a pitch, Brittany Lastrapes walked and K'Lee Arredondo drew a bases-loaded walk to bring home Schutzler and open the scoring.
Akamine retired the first 10 Purdue (31-20) batters before they tied the game on two Arizona errors in the bottom half of the fourth. With one out, Arredondo booted Molly Garst's hard grounder then Katie Mitchell put a two-out grounder off the glove of Jenae Leles at third and into shallow left, scoring Garst.
Stacie Chambers was hit by a pitch to lead off the UA fifth. Sam Banister reached on an error, and was moved over by a sac bunt while pinch runner Jill Malina went to third. Victoria Kemp grounded into a fielder's choice where Malina was put out at home, then sophomore Schutzler smoked the first pitch she saw off the top of the fence in right field, plating three unearned runs and opening up a 4-1 margin.
The Boilermakers cut the lead in half in the sixth. Candace Curtis drew a one-out walk, then Mitchell doubled her in to make the score 4-2. But Akamine sat down the next five in order to preserve the victory.
Up Next: Arizona advances to Super Regional action and will travel to Palo Alto, Calif. to face Stanford, the winner of their own Regional. Game dates and times have yet to be announced.