May 7, 2001
Palo Alto, Calif. - Top-ranked Arizona used a walk, an error and a fly ball to score the necessary run --unearned -- in the top of the 15th inning to beat No. 3 Stanford in softball Sunday, 5-3.
Toni Mascarenas, in her seventh plate appearance, drew a walk off SU's Jaime Forman-Lau (4-1) to lead off the inning. Forman-Lau threw Leneah Manuma's sacrifice bunt away, allowing Mascarenas to reach third and Manuma to reach second. UA reliever Jennie Finch then hit a sacrifice fly to center. After Lindsey Collins struck out, Kim Balkan singled to left to score Manuma.
Finch pitched 10 innings in relief of UA starter Becky Lemke and allowed only two hits to earn her third victory of the weekend. She struck out 13 and improved to 26-0.
Arizona maintained its first-place lead in the conference with a 16-2 record and clinched at least second place entering the final week of conference play. UCLA, at 14-4, is two games behind, with Washington in third at 10-8. An Arizona victory over the Bruins on Friday night in Tucson would give the Wildcats and head coach Mike Candrea their sixth Pac-10 title and first since 1998. The Cats play UCLA at 7 p.m. Friday, with a doubleheader against Washington at 6 p.m. on Saturday to conclude the regular season.
The marathon game at Stanford took three hours and 46 minutes to play. Lemke pitched the first five innings and left with the game tied at 3-3. She struck out four, walked two and allowed three runs, all earned, on five hits. The Cardinal used four pitchers.
Mascarenas drove in one run and Finch drove in two runs in the third inning, both on singles, when UA took a 3-1 lead. Stanford came back with a two-run fifth, keyed by two wild pitches by Lemke, one of which scored a run, and an RBI single by Kira Ching.
The Wildcats improved to 54-4 overall while Stanford dropped to fourth place in the league at 9-9. The Cardinal is 46-12-1 overall.