LOS ANGELES, Calif. ?- Kristie Fox hit a three-run, fifth-inning home run to put No. 5 Arizona ahead of No. 14 UCLA in a crucial 11-2 Pac-10 road win for the Wildcats on Sunday.
The victory was Arizona’s largest victory over UCLA since a 16-3 victory on April 3, 1998.
After being held scoreless for the first 11 innings of the series against the Bruins, UA made the final three innings count with 11 runs.
Every Wildcat starter had at least one hit and all but one scored at least one run in the nine-run victory. Offensively, UA was led by Adrienne Acton, who went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and two RBI. The three-hit game was the second in Acton’s career.
With the win, Arizona improves to 26-8 on the year and 2-1 in Pac-10 play. UCLA drops to 25-9 with a 1-2 mark in Pac-10 play.
UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt (19-7) threw every pitch of the weekend and allowed only two runs on three hits in her first career victory over UCLA. Bruin starter Anjelica Selden (13-5) lasted 5.1 innings and gave up eight runs on 10 hits in a losing effort.
UCLA took advantage of a scoring opportunity its half of the first to jump out to a 1-0 lead. Krista Colburn singled, stole second and was singled home by Jodie Legaspi. With two Bruins on and no one out, Mowatt buckled down and squelched the rally before UCLA scored any additional runs.
The one-run margin held firm until Legaspi accounted for a second Bruin run with a solo home run to left-center field.
In the fifth, Arizona got the leadoff hitter on base for the third time in the game. Sarah Akamine was the benefactor of UCLA’s second fielding error of the day ?- this time on a mishandled groundball by second baseman Lisa Dodd. However, a Sam Banister strikeout, a K’Lee Arredondo groundout quickly gave the Wildcats two outs with a runner on second. Acton put runners on the corners with a two-out, two-strike single to center, bringing Lowe to the plate. The UA senior slapped a ball to UCLA third baseman Julie Burney whose brief bobble was enough time to allow all Wildcat runners to advance a base, which included pinch runner Jill Malina to cross home. Chelsie Mesa followed with an RBI single to center, scoring Acton and tying the game 2-2. That set the stage for Fox, who tomahawked her 10th home run of the year over the Easton Stadium scoreboard in left-center field for a three-run jack, giving UA a 5-2 advantage. All five UA runs in the inning were unearned.
The Wildcat offense continued its onslaught in the sixth, knocking Selden out of the game and scoring three runs on four hits to increase its lead to 8-2. Banister snapped a 1-for-16 slump with a double off the top of the center field fence to get things started. Arredondo then doubled home pinch runner Danielle Rodriguez for UA’s first run of the frame. Acton followed with an infield single to put runners at the corners for the Cats with the top of the order coming up. Lowe moved Acton to second, setting the table for Mesa who atoned for a pair of missed opportunities earlier in the game with a two-run single to center to break the game open 8-2.
Arizona tacked on three more runs in the seventh with three hits and a pair of Bruin errors.
- Today’s victory is UA’s first over UCLA since a 5-4 win over the Bruins on April 4, 2004 in Tucson. The win also snaps an eight-game UA losing streak to UCLA.
- The nine-run margin was the largest Arizona victory over UCLA since a 16-3 win on April 3, 1998.
Up Next: Arizona returns to Tucson for its Pac-10 home opener against No. 9 Arizona State at 7 p.m. on Friday. The Wildcats and Sun Devils will also play on Saturday at 7 p.m. in a contest that will be televised live on ESPN2. Fans are asked to wear red to Saturday’s Rivalry Red Out.