May 18, 2003
TUCSON - Senior shortstop Lovie Jung led Arizona to a 10-5 victory and its 16th consecutive Women's College World Series berth, as the Cats beat Texas A&M for the NCAA Region 1 with a blistering hitting attack.
The Cats pounded 19 hits off three A&M pitchers
Arizona jumped to a quick lead. With one out in the first, Courtney Fossatti singled and was doubled to third by Lovie Jung, setting up a two-run single by Mackenzie Vandergeest.
Texas A&M touched up UA freshman pitcher Alicia Hollowell in its home half of the inning to take the lead, 4-2. Adrian Gregory singled, Ricky Spencer reached on a sacrifice bunt when Hollowell tried to get the lead runner, and Jana James walked. Crystal Martin hit her second home run of the tournament to clear the bases.
Arizona responded swiftly. Lisha Ribellia led off the second with a single, and moved to third on a throwing error off Crystal Farley's infield single. Autumn Champion singled in Ribellia. Courtney Fossatti reached on a fielder's choice , forcing Farley, then Lovie Jung hammered her 25th home run of the year to make it 5-4.
The Cats added some insurance runs in the top of the sixth. Jung collected her fourth hit, moved to second on a hit by Wendy Allen, then stole third and scored on a throwing error by the catcher. Allen moved up on the play, moved to third on a ground ball by Jackie Coburn, then scored on a single by Ribellia.
Vandergeest doubled in two runs in the top of the seventh to make it 9-4. Fossatti and Jung singled before Vandergeest collected her 10th and 11th RBI of the regional.
Jung, who finished the day five-for-five, was selected Region 1 Most Outstanding Player. She had a double, home run, two stolen bases and four runs scored in the championship game.
Hollowell collected herself after the first inning and threw two-hit ball until the seventh inning, when the Aggies staged a two-out rally. Spencer led off with a single, Selena Collins was hit by a pitch and Hollowell walked Jana James to load the bases. Crystal Martin, who made the all-tourney team, singled in a run. Lindsay Wilhelmson lined out to left field to end the game.
It was the fourth victory of the tournament for Hollowell, extending her school season record to 38 victories, against three losses. TAMU's Wilhelmson (18-8) took the loss, but had two victories in NCAA play and made the all-tournament team.
Texas A&M finished its season 38-22 and was 3-2 in Region play. The Wildcats improved to 54-5 with a flawless 4-0 tournament record including two victories over the Aggies.
Three other Wildcats made the All-Region 1 team along with Jung -- Hollowell, Champion and Vandergeest.
Arizona will play Game 1 of the College World Series at 10 a.m. Thursday, May 22, against the winner of the Region 8 tournament, either top seed Alabama or Southern Illinois.
Arizona Coach Mike Candrea:
"It was another goal of ours to be at home (for the regionals) and win. My hat goes off to these girls. Some people don't understand the pressure of wearing this uniform. There's a lot of pressure not only from the coaches but from the fans who always expect you to win. I was impressed with (Coach) Joe Evans and the Aggies. They did a good job of fighting back and not just laying down after our big inning."
After yesterday, we had to come out with authority and control, and I think we did that. Especially after giving up four runs in the first inning."
Texas A&M Coach Jo Evans:
"I thought our kids did a great job. We got into a hole early, but how we came back waas exciting. After losing 3-0 yesterday, we had a lot of confidence andwere excited for our chances today. We have a lot of fight in our team and people know that about us."
REGION 1 ALL-TOURNAMENT TEAM
Lovie Jung, Arizona, shortstop, Most Outstanding Player
Kristin Lueke, Princeton, utility
Elena Ferrero, Boston College, DP/first base
Jan Moshier, Cal State Northridge, catcher
Anne Thul, Minnesota, catcher
Kristin Hall, South Carolina, utility
Crystal Martin, Texas A&M, shortstop
Lindsay Wilhelmson, Texas A&M, pitcher
Jana James, Texas A&M, outfielder
Alicia Hollowell, Arizona, pitcher
Autumn Champion, Arizona, outfielder
Mackenzie Vandergeest, Arizona, catcher