With the win, the Wildcats improved to 46-9 on the year and advance to the championship game of the regional. In its 12th consecutive victory, dating back to April 30,
Alicia Hollowell took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but lost that and the shutout she was working on. Other than three runs in the fifth, the three-time All-American held the Buckeyes scoreless in the other six frames.
The Wildcats got on the board with a pair of runs in the top of the first on a Chelsie Mesa two-run double. Caitlin Lowe opened the game with a single up the middle and stole second base with Autumn Champion at the plate. Then with one out, Kristie Fox singled to left, moving Lowe to third. On Fox’s single, the Buckeye right fielder gunned the ball home, but missed her target, allowing Fox to advance to second base.
After Callista Balko struck out and Jenae Leles was hit by a pitch to load the bases,
After a scoreless second, the Wildcats put up another two spot in the third. Autumn Champion led off with a bunt single, bringing Fox to the plate. Fox spanked Reeder’s 1-1 offering over the left field fence and on top of the newly renovated batting cages. Unfortunately for the All-American shortstop, the cages are in foul territory. The good news is that she sent the next pitch over the fence in right-center for her 13th home run of the year, increasing UA’s lead to 4-0.
Hollowell retired 12 of the first 13 Buckeye hitters before surrendering her first hit of the game, a leadoff single in the bottom of the fifth to Christina Douglas. After inducing a groundout, Hollowell gave up her second hit of the game to Courtney Pruner, who drove in
After Hollowell held OSU scoreless in the bottom of the sixth, preserving the Wildcats’ two-run lead for the seventh inning. Already 1-for-2 with a double in the game, Callista Balko clubbed her 13th home run of the year to left field. The ball did not land until climbing approximately a dozen rows up the left field bleachers.
Hollowell stayed in the circle for the seventh inning, retiring the Buckeyes in order for her 28th complete game of the season.
- Jenae Leles’ first-inning hit by pitch was her ninth of the year. That is the most for any Wildcat since Leneah Manuma’s 16 HBPs in 2002.
- Callista Balko’s seventh-inning homer was her seventh in the last 12 games.
"We made it interesting today, didn't we? The last time we faced Hollowell we struck out 18 times, so we made some improvements."
"We didn't play our best game defensively. When you do that against
"Everyone in their lineup is a threat."
"After the home run, she (Hollowell) started throwing more off-speed pitches. When she has all her pitches going, she is really tough."
"We hope to make it to Saturday, that's for sure."
"I couldn't be more proud of the way our kids are playing."
"We got off to a good start. I am pleased with our approach offensively. We had a couple of key strikeouts with runners in scoring position that kept us from bowing the game open. I'm greedy like that. I never want to give another team a sense that they can win the game."
On Alicia Hollowell giving up three runs in the fifth:
"She got a little careless with an 0-2 pitch and she (Lauren Daykin) hit it out. Other than that, I can't complain. She shut them down after that."
On scoring two runs after the lead was cut to 4-3:
"We got two more runs after the home run. I think that's the sign of a good team. You can never get comfortable. I thought we let up with our energy a bit, but we picked it up."
On giving up three runs in the fifth: “I never want to give up homeruns. I came back strong, though. I didn’t let it affect me.”
On homering in the third inning one pitch after hitting a foul ball on top of the batting cages:
“I knew they weren’t going to come inside on me again. I just stayed in on the ball and went with the pitch.”
On what she said to Alicia Hollowell after the home run: “She knows what she is doing. I basically am just there to keep encouraging her. I knew she would keep pitching well.”
Live Stats on Game Watcher for all Tucson games - HERE
NCAA Division I Softball Championships - Region 2 Schedule Day Time Game Other Thursday 4 p.m. 1 - Ohio State 1, Auburn 0 6:30 p.m. 2 - Arizona 9, Marist 0 Friday 1:30 p.m. 3 ?- Arizona 6, Ohio State 3 4 p.m. 4 ?- Auburn vs. Marist 6:30 p.m. 5 ?- Winner 4 vs. Ohio State 6 ?- Arizona vs. Winner 5 Saturday 5 p.m. 7 ?- Arizona vs. Winner 5 (if necessary) ESPN2
ESPN2 Tucson Regional Schedule
NCAA Division I Softball Championships - Region 2 Schedule
1 - Ohio State 1, Auburn 0
2 - Arizona 9, Marist 0
3 ?- Arizona 6, Ohio State 3
4 ?- Auburn vs. Marist
5 ?- Winner 4 vs. Ohio State
6 ?- Arizona vs. Winner 5
7 ?- Arizona vs. Winner 5 (if necessary)