TUCSON--A Mackenzie Vandergeest first-inning grand slam propelled Arizona to a 11-1 five-inning victory over Colorado State Thursday morning in first-round NCAA Region 1 action.
The top-ranked Wildcats scored early and often as the club batted around in each of the first two innings. Arizona opened the bottom of the first inning with consecutive singles and a hit batsman before Vandergeest took CSU starter Megan Masser (20-6) over the fence for her 13th home run of the season. UA added another run in the frame on an RBI single by Crystal Farley.
Vandergeest ignited a UA rally in the second with a run-scoring single, Lisha Ribellia hit a two-run single and three other Wildcats drove in runs as the Cats went up by a score of 11-0 after two innings.
The Rams picked up their first hits and a run in the fourth off Allen. Jennifer Mahoney singled to left, then scored on a double by Ricki Walker.
Arizona collected 11 hits in the game.
Arizona (51-5) moves to second-round play Friday against Minnesota Friday morning in the winner's bracket. Colorado State (35-14) plays an elimination game against Cal State Northridge later tonight at 7 p.m.
Arizona Coach Mike Candrea:
"It's always good to get the first one under your belt. We got some runs early, which is always good. Hollowell came out and gave us a good chance, and we got some innings out of Wendy (Allen.)"
UA's Mackenzie Vandergeest:
"It felt good to get a hit for the team and get a few runs and the early lead. It's huge for the young players to get the experience of that first win."
CSU Coach Mary Yori:
"We got off to a rocky start. It doesn't help when you give up that big hit. I thought we came ready to play, but Arizona's a good team. We didn't bring our best game today, which is disappointing."
CSU Pitcher Megan Masser:
"I have to keep my head in the game and just get ready to face the next batter. She (Vandergeest) hit my change-up."