Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Walk-Off Single Lifts Cats to Win in 5-4 Thriller
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 03, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Arizona catcher Callista Balko’s bases-loaded single broke a 4-4 tie to give the second-ranked Wildcats a 5-4 victory over Missouri at Hillenbrand Stadium on Friday night.


In an action-packed game that included two ties and two lead changes, Arizona came up with the big hits when it needed to.


The victory improved Arizona’s record to 12-3 on the year, while Missouri’s eight-game win streak was snapped and the Tigers dropped to 14-7.


Chelsie Mesa, who went 2-for-4 in her eight multi-hit game of the year, staked Arizona to a 1-0 lead in the first inning with her second home run of the year.


The Tigers fought back, taking their first lead of the game in the third inning with a three-run homer.  MU center fielder Leanne Bowers walked and Andee Allen reached on a Wildcat fielding error, placing runners at second and third with one out.  MU first baseman Amanda Renth connected on her first of two home runs of the night to give her Tigers a 3-1 lead.


The Wildcats scratched out a run in their half of the third to climb within one run of MU.  Caitlin Lowe led off the inning by reaching on a Tiger throwing error and then stole the first of her four stolen bases on the night.  After Mesa flied to deep center field, Kristie Fox atoned for her error earlier in the inning with an RBI single to center, scoring her classmate Lowe.


After holding MU scoreless in the top of the fourth, K’Lee Arredondo’s first career home run ?- a solo shot ?- tied the game 3-3.


In the top of the fifth, the game took a dramatic turn.  MU’s Renth was at the plate with a 2-1 count when Taryne Mowatt’s pitch appeared to knob of her bat and bounced back to Mowatt who threw to first for an apparent out.  However, the home plate umpire Mike Bartling ruled the ball foul, which led to an argument from the UA coaching staff and the eventual ejection of assistant Larry Ray.  Incidentally, Renth clubbed the next pitch over the center field fence for a solo home run, giving MU a 4-3 advantage.


However, Lowe and the Cats would respond in the bottom half of the frame with a run of their own.  Lowe led off with an infield single, stole her second base of the night and scored on a Mesa single to center. 


With the game still tied in the seventh, Lowe led off yet again with the same result.  The three-time All-American reached via an infield single, stole second, made a delay steal of third and had the game-winning run just 60 feet away from scoring with no outs.  After Mesa struck out, MU elected to intentionally walk Fox and Jenae Leles to get to Balko.  The Tucsonan responded with her fourth game-winning hit of the year, scoring Lowe to win the game in walk-off fashion.


UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt (7-3) earned the win, yielding three earned runs on five hits, seven walks and 10 strikeouts in seven innings of work.  MU’s Jen Bruck (5-1) drew the loss, as she gave up four earned runs on eight hits and four walks.


Game Notes:

-          Laine Roth’s second-inning double was her first extra-base hit of the year.

-         Chelsie Mesa extended her career-long hitting streak to 12 games.

-         Caitlin Lowe’s three-run game was her second of the year.  She currently has 201 career runs scored, good for 10th place on UA’s all-time list.

-         Caitlin Lowe’s four stolen bases give her 124 in her career and places her fourth on UA’s all-time list.  She is five away from Vivian Holm’s 129 career swiped bags for third place in program history.


Up Next: Arizona continues plays the second of two games against Missouri with a 7 p.m. tilt on Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.