Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 2 Softball Defeats No. 14 Washington in a Nail Biter
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 08, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Related Links

TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 2 Arizona softball team (31-4, 2-1) defeated No. 14 Washington (27-11, 1-3), 1-0, in UA’s Pac-10 home opener on Friday night.


Alicia Hollowell (16-1) made her return to Hillenbrand Stadium with a dominant performance over the Huskies.  The senior hurler struck out nine of the first 10 Husky hitters, before inducing two foul pop outs to close out the fourth inning.


Hollowell’s start was her second since coming back from a facial injury that she suffered on March 19 against Texas.  Since coming back, Hollowell has allowed one run in 14 innings in two Pac-10 victories.


At game’s end the three-time All-American tallied 14 strikeouts, two hits and one walk in her 11th shutout of the year.


Arizona scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the second on three hits, two of them infield singles.  Callista Balko led off with a single to left field, before advancing to second on a passed ball.  Then, with two outs Adrienne Acton hit a single up the middle, which was knocked down by second baseman Dominique Lastrapes.  Balko hustled around third, beating Lastrapes’ throw home to put UA on the board. 


The Huskies mounted their largest threat of the game in the top of the fourth, when they had the top of the order due up.  After Hollowell’s ninth strikeout, Ashley Charters singled and became just the second UW batter to reach base.  With the three and four hitters coming up next for the Huskies, Hollowell promptly retired each of them, ending a possible rally.


UW had their two-through-four hitters up in the top of the seventh, but a bunt pop out retired leadoff hitter Ashley Charters and a Sarah Hyatt strikeout retired the first two batters.  Then, Ashley Minor drew a 3-2 walk, the only free pass Hollowell issued all night.  With the go-ahead run at the plate, Hollowell struck out Alicia Matthew on a 1-2 pitch to clinch the victory.


Up next: The Wildcats next play tomorrow against No. 3 UCLA at 7 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.


Game notes:

-         Kristie Fox stole her first base of the year in the first inning.

-         Callista Balko singled in the second inning, giving her six hits in her last seven at-bats, in the last four games.  It took Balko the first 17 games of the year (through Sam Houston State) to collect six base knocks.

-         Taryne Mowatt’s two hits marked her career multi-hit game.

-         Kristie Fox extended her team-leading six-game hitting streak.