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Arizona Takes Game One of Super Regional
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/27/2006
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Four Autumn Champion hits, three Jenae Leles RBI singles and one Alicia Hollowell shutout were the recipe for Arizona's 5-0 super regional victory over LSU on Friday night at Hilenbrand Stadium.

 

Hollowell (26-4) tossed her 16th shutout of the year, fanning 11 Tigers in seven innings of work.  LSU’s Emily Turner (27-8) drew the loss, as she gave up five runs; four of which were unearned.

 

The Wildcats rapped out nine hits, all singles, while the Tigers had four hits in the game.

 

The Wildcats got on the board in the first inning, on a Jenae Leles two-out RBI single.  With one out, Autumn Champion started the rally with a single the centerfield.  With Kristie Fox at the plate, Champion moved into scoring position with her 14th stolen base of the year.  After Fox fouled out, Balko drew a walk, placing Wildcats at first and second.  That set the stage for Leles, who lined a single to right field, scoring Champion and advancing Balko to third.

 

Up 1-0 in the second, the Wildcats threatened, but did not score.  With Laine Roth on second and two outs, Caitlin Lowe struck out swinging.  Turner’s pitch, however, went wild and hit the backstop.  On the errant pitch, Lowe reached first base and Roth moved to third.  With the Tigers standing around, Lowe alertly stole second base.  Roessnel’s throw to second was late, and Roth attempted to advance to home, but was cut down at the plate upon the return throw from second ending the threat.

 

The Wildcats increased their lead to a 2-0 margin with the same Champion-Leles combination in the fifth.  Champion led off with a single to short and moved to second on the first of four errors by LSU shortstop Andrea Smith.  After a Fox popped out and Balko reached on Smith’s second error, Leles drove Champion for the second time of the night.

 

In the Arizona half of the sixth inning, UA bumped its lead from 2-0 to 5-0 three this and two errors.  With one out, Adrienne Acton got all the way to second base via a fielding and throwing error on, none other than, Smith.  After Acton moved to third on a Lowe groundout, she scored on Champion’s fourth hit of the game.  Following a Fox walk, Balko drove Champion around to score her third run of the game with a single down the leftfield line.  Arizona would get its final run of the game on Leles’ third RBI single of the night, this one to centerfield, scoring Fox. 

 

After yielding a single in the first inning, Hollowell did not allow another LSU hitter to reach base until Tiger catcher Killian Roessner singled to left.  After LSU head coach Yvette Girouard sent out Dee Dee Henderson to pinch run for Roessner, the Wildcats quickly turned a popped up bunt into an inning-ending double play.

 

LSU had a pair of hitters reach base with singles in the seventh, but that would be the only time the Tigers had multiple runners on all night.

 

Up next: Arizona looks to clinch a trip to the Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City with its next victory, and can do so with a win in tomorrow’s 6 p.m. (MST) match-up with the Tigers.  The contest can be seen live on ESPNU.  Should LSU win the 6 p.m. game, there will be a rubber match beginning at 8:30 p.m. (MST), also on ESPNU, with the winner advancing to the WCWS.

(NOTE: If Texas beats Washington in a super regional at Austin earlier Saturday, to end that series at 2-0 and cancel the "if" game, Arizona's games against LSU will be moved to ESPN2.).

 

Game notes:

-         Autumn Champion’s four hits put her into sole possession of sixth place all-time for hits in a career at Arizona with 301.

-         This was Arizona’s first game without an extra-base hit since an April 23 loss at California

-         Jenae Leles notched her third career three-hit game.

-         Autumn Champion’s four hits in a game also were the third occurrence this yearfor the senior.

-         Callista Balko extended her career-high and team-leading hitting streak to seven games.

-         Adrienne Acton reached on an error for her team-leading eighth time this year.

-         Attendance was 1,926

Post-Game Quotes

Arizona head coach Mike Candrea:

On Alicia Hollowell's pitching performance: "I have come to expect it from her. She gave us a great performance at a time when we really needed it."

On the six days rest between starts for Hollowell: "She's been good for us this year, especially when I have been able to give her some rest. I think if you look back at times when we've given her rest, she's come back strong every time."

Arizona Pitcher Alicia Hollowell:

On her performance: "I was firing on all cylinders. I was aggressive from the start and hitting my spots."

On any pressure at this point of the year: "I don't feel any (pressure) really. I just take it one pitch at a time."

Arizona Third Baseman Jenae Leles:

On her three-hit, three-RBI game at the plate: "I'm just trying to swing the bat and swing it hard. I think we have a lot of momentum. Everyone is contributing."

LSU Head Coach Yvette Girouard:

On Arizona pitcher Alicia Hollowell: "Early on, she had everything working. She had the change, rise and that out-pitch curve she likes to use, and she had the drop ball working. For the first five innings, she was as good as we have seen all year."

On Emily Turner's pitching performance: "She pitched good enough to win the game. She only gave up one earned run. That's enough to win. We didn't have enough offense. If we want to win, we have to touch home plate."

LSU Pitcher Emily Turner:

On her pitching performance: "I thought we battled well. We had a baserunning play (pop-out on a sacrafice bunt attempt, which turned into a double-play in the fifth) that took a lot of momentum away from us. I thought Alicia (Hollowell) did a great job keeping our hitters off balance. I thought it was a good game, but we can't make some of the mistakes we made."

Other Regional Scores:

Massachusetts 1, Northwestern 0 (Evanston, Ill.) - UMass leads 1-0

Arizona State 6, Florida State 1 (Tempe, Ariz.) - ASU leads 1-0

Alabama 4, Stanford 1 (Tuscaloosa, Ala.) - UA leads 1-0

California 2, Oregon State 1 (Corvallis, Ore.) - Cal leads 1-0

Texas 1, Washington 0 (Austin, Texas) - UT leads 1-0

South Florida at UCLA - Game 1 in Los Angeles on Saturday

Michigan at Tennessee - Game 1 in Knoxville, Tenn., on Saturday

 

 

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