TUCSON – Softball alumni gathered at Hillenbrand Stadium to participate in the annual Arizona Alumni Game on Sunday as the university celebrated its 99th Homecoming. The alumni and the current Wildcats split into two, evenly-divided teams, Team Arizona (red) and Team Wildcats (blue). Team Wildcats used a four-run fifth, capped by a Lauren Young walkoff home run, to defeat Team Arizona 4-3.
More than 50 former players and staff returned to Hillenbrand for the event.
The festivities kicked off at 11:30 with a home run derby, which included eight former players and eight current players. With 16 home runs, including six homers in eight swings in the final round, Chelsea Goodacre earned the victory in the contest. Goodacre defeated classmate Hallie Wilson in the final round.
The 1974 team, Arizona’s first ever Women’s College World Series team, as well as the 1994 team, UA’s third national championship squad, were honored during mid-inning ceremonies.
The game was dominated in the circle early as starters Michelle Floyd and Nancy Bowling dueled and put up scoreless innings in each of the first three frames.
The 0-0 tie was broken in the third when Goodacre doubled to straight away center field to score Eva Watson to give Team Arizona a 1-0 lead. K'Lee Arredondo followed with a two-run single of her own to give the red team a 3-0 lead.
The lead would hold until the final half-inning of the game. The scrimmage was scheduled to go five innings prior to the game. In the bottom of the fifth, Laura Espinosa stepped to the plate with two on and nobody out. In her first at-bat of the game, Espinosa homered off the batter’s eye to knot the game at three. The next two batters were retired before Young ended the contest with a solo shot to center to give Team Wildcats a 4-3 victory.
The game concluded Arizona’s fall schedule. UA will be in action next Feb. 7 against Southern Miss to begin the regular season.
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