TUCSON, Ariz. - Jennie Finch scattered five hits and struck out the side in the ninth to help No. 2-ranked Arizona slip past No. 4 California, 2-1, in college softball Sunday. UA won the opener by the same score.
Finch struck out nine to improve to 20-0 and boost the Cats to 46-4 overall and 8-2 for first place in the Pac-10. California dropped to 45-8 and 4-7. Cal's Nicole DiSalvio held UA to six hits but UA's two runs were scored by hitters who walked. She dropped to 16-2.
UA took a quick 1-0 lead in the first on a walk and stolen base by Lauren Bauer and an RBI single by Toni Mascarenas. The Cats stretched it to 2-0 with an unearned run in the third. Toni Mascarenas walked and moved to third on Leneah Manuma's single, then scored on an error by Cal second baseman Eryn Manahan.
Cal picked up an unearned run off Finch in the top of the sixth. Pauline
Duenas singled and moved to third when UA third baseman Toni Mascarenas
threw away the force-out at second on Candace Harper's grounder. Veronica
Nelson singled in Duenas.
Arizona extended its home-field winning streak to 37 games.
Arizona scored a run without a hit in the bottom of the eighth to take a 2-1 victory over California in the opener.
The teams resumed play in the bottom of the first inning Sunday morning and played an unscheduled doubleheader after rains postponed play on Saturday night.
Lauren Bauer drew a walk and advanced to third when Cal shortstop Piage Bowie's throw to second was late and in the dirt, then beat the throw at the plate on Toni Mascarenas' sacrifice fly to center in the eighth.
California designated player Jen Deering, who entered the game after a shoulder injury knocked Amber Phillips out of the game, homered to centerfield with two outs in the top of the seventh to give the Bears a 1-0 lead. But Jennie Finch doubled with one out in the bottom of the inning and was rewarded home plate after being obstructed by Cal third baseman Candace Harper rounding third on Mackenzie Vandergeest's single.
UA pitcher Becky Lemke (14-2) struck out nine and held Cal to five hits, while Bears pitcher Jocelyn Forest (24-5) pitched a four-hitter and kept the Cats hitless through four and two-thirds innings until Vandergeest singled through the hole at shortstop.