April 18, 2010
TUCSON -- Arizona outlasted Stanford, 5-4, to sweep a weekend Pac-10 softball series and gain sole possession of third place in the league standings.
The Cardinal got a leadoff double by Alissa Haber and an out later another from Shannon Koplitz to jump to a quick 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
The Wildcats rallied but missed an opportunity in the bottom of the frame. With one out, Lauren Schutzler was safe on a throwing error by the catcher and reached second when the right fielder mishandled the ball for a second error. K'Lee Arredondo singled and stole second to put two in scoring position, and Stacie Chambers walked to load the bases. But Stanford pitcher Jenna Rich got Brigette Del Ponte to foul out and a fielder's choice from Lini Koria to end the threat.
Sarah Akamine gave up a leadoff single to Melisa Koutz to open the second, and a throwing error by second baseman Kristen Arriola helped Sarah Hassman reach second when she hit into a fielder's choice, but Akamine struck out Haber to end the inning.
Rich followed another Koplitz double with a home right to right field, her 11th of the year, to make it 3-0 in the top of the third, and UA coach Mike Candrea got pitchers warming up in the bullpen. Sarah Akamine walked the next batter and was lifted in favor of Kenzie Fowler, who retired the next two batters.
UA responded. Schutzler reached on an error to open the third, Arredondo singled and Chambers hit her 13th home run of the year to tie the game. The next batter, Del Ponte ripped one to the same spot in right field to give UA a 4-3 lead with her 17th jack of the year. It chased the pitcher Rich.
Stanford answered swiftly. Jenna Becerra singled, stole second and scored on a two-out double down the right field line by Ashley Hansen to tie it at 4 in the top of the fourth.
UA had a chance to break the tie but got a tough call from the officiating crew. Lastrapes walked, stole second and moved to third on Arredondo's single. Chambers lined to center, and Lastrapes was called for leaving third early. UA coach Mike Candrea argued the call, enough to get tossed from the game. He watched the rest from beyond the outfield fence in foul territory.
Lini Koria, however, yanked one deep over the fence in centerfield to help UA regain the lead in the bottom of the inning, 5-4. It was her 11th of the year.
Stanford got leadoff singles by Hansen and Koplitz to open the seventh, but Jenna Rich hit into a fielder's choice and Rosey Neill lined to center. Fowler struck out Maya Burns to end the game and win in relief.
Reliever Ashley Chinn (6-3) took the decision for Stanford, 30-9 overall and 4-5 in league play. Fowler (24-5) earned the victory for UA (35-7, 5-4).
Arizona plays Oregon State at home in a three-game series next week beginning on Friday. Stanford will be at home with UCLA next week.