April 19, 2013
TUCSON, Ariz. -
Twenty-second ranked Arizona softball ( 28-17, 5-8 Pac-12) celebrated the 20th birthday of Rita Hillenbrand stadium in style when it walked off with an 8-6, 10-inning victory over eighteenth-ranked UCLA (28-15, 5-11 Pac-12) on Friday night.
Trailing by a run and down to the last out in the bottom of the 10th, Hallie Wilson blasted the first pitch of her at-bat to deep right-field with runners on first and second to help Arizona take game one of the three game series against the Bruins. The home run was Wilson's sixth of the year.
Arizona scored the first five runs of the game, putting five runs on the board in the second inning before UCLA responded with a five-spot of its own; the Bruins plated five unearned runs in the fourth. After the teams traded zeros on the scoreboard from the bottom of the fourth until the bottom of the ninth, UCLA struck first in extra innings.
Ally Carda led off the 10th with a solo homer to put the pressure on Arizona. Mandie Perez knocked a one-out single and Courtney Rodriguez reached on a fielder's choice. After a strikeout, Wilson represented Arizona's final chance. She did not need much time. Wilson put the first pitch she saw off the scoreboard in right.
The homer was Wilson's first career walkoff homer, though Wilson hit a walkoff double as a freshman in the eighth inning against Oregon on April 29, 2012.
Arizona improved to 2-0 in extra inning contests on the year; the Cats outlasted Utah on March 29 with a 6-5, 11 inning victory.
Shelby Babcock got the start in the circle for the Wildcats and went the distance, allowing just a single earned run on eight hits. Babcock recorded 10 strikeouts, surpassing her previous season-high of nine. Babcock's record for the season improved to 15-6.
Arizona's offense broke out with five runs in the bottom of the second after being hitless for two-consecutive games in Oregon. Chelsea Goodacre's base hit ended Arizona's 11-inning hitless streak.
UCLA struck with its own five runs in the top of the fourth to tie the game. A UCLA grand slam highlighted the inning.
Errors by Arizona allowed base-runners on first and third. With two outs, a base hit off Babcock scored UCLA's first run, and bunt-single followed, which loaded the bases. UCLA's B.B. Bates drove a pitch high up into the left-center field bleachers to record a grand-slam and tie the game at five apiece.
Both offenses remained scoreless until the 10th inning.
In the UCLA half of the 10th, Babcock allowed her only earned run of the game by giving up a solo home run. UCLA led for the first time in the game, 6-5.
In the Arizona 10th with one out, Perez singled to left field and advanced to second when Courtney Rodriguez reached safely on base from a fielder's choice. After UCLA recorded a strikeout, Wilson stepped into the plate. Wasting no time, Wilson swung at the first pitch, soaring it past the right-field wall to help Arizona win its 581st game at Hillenbrand Stadium.