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Unearned Runs Doom Cats in Loss to UCLA
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Release: 05/05/2012
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Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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May 5, 2012

LOS ANGELES -

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No. 15 Arizona Softball (32-15, 9-10 Pac-12) allowed six UCLA (34-15, 10-9 Pac-12) unearned runs to cross the plate in the Bruins' 10-4 victory in game one the three-game series.

In addition to the two errors, the Cats gave 17th-ranked UCLA free bases in the form of seven walks, a hit-by-pitch and a defensive miscommunication on an outfield fly ball. The Bruins capitalized and put 10 runs on the board, marking the third game in the last four that Arizona has allowed double-digit runs.

All of Arizona's runs came on homers as both Lini Koria and Shelby Pendley clocked two-run homers in the contest. The Wildcats registered only six hits off Jessica Hall, whose ERA (3.05) ranked 221st in the nation entering the weekend. Brigette Del Ponte and Karissa Buchanan notched two hits apiece.

Kenzie Fowler (14-7) allowed 10 runs, four earned) on eight hits while walking seven and striking out five in her complete-game effort.

Her counterpart, Hall (17-10), allowed four runs on six hits with six strikeouts and two walks.

Arizona, which led the nation in fielding percentage as recently as last week, has now committed eight errors in the last four games; in the previous 43 games, the Wildcats had committed 17 total errors.

Neither pitcher allowed a hit until Buchanan singled to left in the third inning.

The Bruins wouldn't be far behind. After an error by Pendley, the Bruins put together three consecutive singles, the final of which, a single up the middle by Andrea Harrison scored the games first run. On the hit, Hallie Wilson registered her fourth assist of the season when she cut down UCLA's Katie Schroeder attempting to score from second on the play. The dime came just one batter after she and Chelsea Suitos did not properly communicate responsibility on a routine fly ball to right-center field and allowed it to drop in for a base hit.

Arizona responded in the fourth. Del Ponte laced her 14th double of the season and moved to third on a wild pitch. The extra bases would be irrelevant when Koria demolished a homer to left-center. The long ball was Koria's 60th in her career; the senior became just the fifth Wildcat in history to reach the plateau.

The Bruins would get a pair of homers in the bottom half to retake the lead. Alyssa Tiumalu homered for just the second time on the season to tie the game. A double followed by a two-out HBP put two on for Stephany LaRosa who cleared the bases with her 16th home run of the season that gave UCLA a 5-2 lead.

The score would stand until the sixth when UA got to within a run of the Bruins. Del Ponte knocked a one-out single to left and was brought home by Pendley's line-drive home run to right field.

UCLA added five runs of insurance in the bottom half to put the game out of reach. The five runs came on just two hits and were all unearned. Fowler began the inning by issuing a leadoff walk to Kellie Fox. Brigette Del Ponte, trying to get the lead runner on a sacrifice attempt by Talee Snow, threw the ball into center field to put the first two Bruins on in the frame. After a strikeout, Fowler walked the next two, the latter of which drove in a run. A sacrifice fly followed by Fowler's fourth walk of the inning reloaded the bases. Back-to-back run-scoring singles by Samantha Camuso and Tiumalu moved the score to 10-4. In the bottom half, Arizona got a one-out single by Buchanan but nothing more.

The Cats and the Bruins meet again tomorrow night (6:00 p.m.) and Sunday (noon). The Wildcats will need to take the next two games to avoid dropping their third straight Pac-12 series.

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