Feb. 9, 2002
Two home runs by Mississippi State and a solid pitching
performance by Kasey Whitehead helped put an end to Arizona's 32-game
winning streak, as the Bulldogs beat top-ranked Arizona, 7-1, in Fiesta
Bowl softball tournament action Saturday evening.
Iyhia McMichael hit a two-run home run off UA's Jenny Gladding in the top
of the first to give the Bulldogs a quck lead after Kellie Wilkerson had
MSU added three more in the second on Wilkerson's home run to left. With one out, Kasey Whitehead walked, Faith Robinson walked and Jennifer Jessup reached on a fielder's choice in focing out Robinson, before Wilkerson's blast.
Jennie Finch led off the UA second with a walk, moved to third on Gladding's double and scored on Jackie Coburn's sacrifice fly to put UA on the scoreboard at 5-1. Lovie Jung and Courtney Fossatti singled up the middle with one out in the third, but Whitehead got a force out and Laneah Manuma lined to short to end the threat.
Whitehead (3-0) scattered eight hits and struck out four in helping MSU to 3-0. UA's Gladding held the Bulldogs to three hits -- none after the second inning -- and struck out nine but was hurt by the long ball. UA dropped to 6-1.
The Bulldogs added insult to injury by scoring two runs in the seventh aided by Arizona fielding errors by first baseman Finch, third baseman Coburn and shortstop Jung, plus two of the six walks issued by Gladding during the game.
Arizona last lost a game on April 8, 2001, at UCLA, 3-0, with Gladding also taking the loss. The victory was MSU's first over a ranked team since it beat No. 9 Stanford, 2-1, in 10 innings on March 7, 2000, in the Leadoff Classic in Columbus, Ga.
Arizona concludes play in the round-robin tournament at Rose Mofford Softball Complex with games Sunday at 8 a.m. against Massachusetts and at 10 a.m. against Wisconsin. The Cats return to action in Tucson next weekend as host to the Arizona Softball Classic tournament.