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Cats One Win from WCWS Berth
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/27/2007
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON--  Three-run home runs in the bottom of the fourth and fifth innings gave Arizona its first lead, 6-5, and the No. 1 seed Wildcats blasted back from an apparent upset and trounced Cal State Fullerton, 11-6, in NCAA Softball Championships Super Regional action Saturday.

Callista Balko put UA's first runs on the board with her blast to left field, and Laine Roth gave Arizona three unearned runs with her shot over the right field fence in the next frame -- just UA's fourth and fifth hits off Fullerton ace Candice Baker (21-13) to that point.

The Cats pulled off the comeback without their best player, three-time All-America senior centerfielder Caitlin Lowe, who left after crashing into the fence chasing a hit by Crystal Vieyra that drove in two runs in CSF's big first inning when it took a 5-0 lead. Lowe evidently suffered an injury to her face and was withheld from action afterward, although she did return to UA's dugout an inning later.

Fullerton's big frame came with five hits and a Wildcat error including two-run hits by Lauren Lupinetti and Vieyra, and an RBI single by Katie Gollhardt. The inning might have been bigger but Vieyra was called out for passing base-runner Gollhardt after Lowe fell down on the play at the wall.

UA mustered only seven hits off Baker, but the big one by Balko seemed to infuse some life into the Cats, who improved to 43-12-1. The Titans dropped to 38-22 overall.

Jenae Leles chased Baker with a two-run homer in UA's five-run sixth, after a fourth and fifth error that made all five runs unearned. Of the 11 runs Baker gave up, only two were earned.

UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt (35-10) struck out eight, walked three and gave up six runs on nine hits, four earned.

The Wildcats moved to within one victory of their 19th Women's College World Series appearance in the past 20 years. Game 2 in the Super Regional will be played at noon Sunday, with a third game to follow at 2:30 if necessary.  Both games can be seen on ESPNU.

NOTES... UA shortstop Kristie Fox kept a hitting streak alive at 10 games... The five errors tied CSF season high... UA's comeback was its biggest deficit-eraser of the season, eclipsing a three-run lead Washington held on May 12 before UA won... The Cats made a pile of their own mistakes, with three errors, the last one leading to CSF's second unearned run... Caitlin Lowe's status for the rest of the weekend remained in doubt after the game... Arizona improves to 19-1 when opponents have multiple errors in a game... Arizona improves to 26-0 when scoring six runs or more... Arizona improves to 31-0 when leading after the fifth inning.

 

 

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