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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Painfully close: Arizona softball comes up short in WCWS

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — They just ran out of gas.

“”I think we expelled a lot of energy to get here,”” said Arizona head softball coach Mike Candrea. “”I’m very proud of this team for the fight they put up through this week.””

After surviving elimination for four games, the Wildcats were unable to stave off elimination in Game 2 as they fell 15-9 to the UCLA Bruins Tuesday night.

Although it attempted to mount a comeback by scoring multiple runs in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings, Arizona could not stop the Bruins from adding more and more insurance runs as the game went on.

As UCLA piled on runs in the later innings, the Bruins took the national title, winning two games in the best-of-three championship series at the Women’s College World Series.

After the Wildcats put up a three spot in thev bottom of the fourth to cut the UCLA lead to 7-4, the Bruins responded with seven runs in the top half of the fifth to seal the deal.

“”It’s always tough to end the season on a losing note, but there’s many kids that dream of getting to the College World Series and getting to the championship series,”” Candrea said.

For the Bruins, their 11th national title came off home runs, something their offense has survived on all year. UCLA had four jacks in the ball game.

The combined seven long balls from UCLA and Arizona set a new record for the number of home runs in a championship series game, breaking the record that was set Monday night by the same two teams.

Arizona’s Kenzie Fowler worked just 1.1 innings in Game 2 after throwing 805 pitches and nearly every inning in the WCWS for the Wildcats. In the second inning, she threw a rise ball that got away from her and hit Bruin outfielder B.B. Bates in the head. Fowler was visibly upset and left the game after 46 pitches in favor of senior pitcher Sarah Akamine.

“”She has thrown a bunch,”” said Candrea of Fowler’s pitch count. “”My God, this young lady has done a miraculous job to get us here and I told you I was going to ride her as much as

I can, but on the other hand, when she can’t feel the ball … it’s time. I’m always going to put her health in front of competition.””

After a Game 1 that took eight innings and had four tied scores, Game 2 saw the Bruins take an early 2-0 lead off of Megan Langenfeld’s home run just three batters into the game.

Akamine, like Fowler in the previous games, would not be spared the illegal pitch call. The first illegal pitch call of the night for Akamine moved Bates to second base and a GiOnna DiSalvatore single put two on with no outs for UCLA.

A passed ball put Bates and DiSalvatore on second and third respectively, with Langenfeld in the batter’s box. This time, Arizona elected to intentionally walk the senior pitcher from Bakersfield, Calif., to get to left fielder Andrea Harrison.

Harrison hit the big blow for the Bruins, going yard for a grand slam and giving UCLA the 6-0 lead.

In the bottom half of the second, Lini Koria rounded the bases with a solo shot to put Arizona on the board.

Neither team would plate a run in the third, the only scoreless inning in the game. Karissa

Buchanan, however, recorded a single that gave her 13 hits for the WCWS, tying the record for hits in Oklahoma City.

Although Akamine gave up another run in the fourth, the Wildcats got some momentum back in the bottom of the inning. They plated three runs when Koria was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to score K’Lee Arredondo. Kristen Arriola then singled with the bases loaded to score Stacie Chambers and Brigette Del Ponte.

The three-run deficit was as close the Wildcats would get in Game 2. Although Arizona would score five more runs in the game, the Bruins refused to relent, throwing up nine runs between the fourth and sixth innings.

“”I think we came to the ball park ready to play. We just didn’t have all the things that we needed to together to make this game close,”” Candrea said.

EXTRA INNINGS

• Senior pitcher Ashley Ralston-Alvarez made her WCWS debut in the sixth inning for Arizona. She gave up a home run to Samantha Camuso and struck out two.

• A total of 62,562 fans came out to ASA Hall of Fame Stadium to see the 2010 WCWS. That total is a WCWS overall attendance record.

• All three seniors on Arizona’s roster saw action in Game 2.

• K’Lee Arredondo, Karissa Buchanan, Kenzie Fowler and Brittany Lastrapes were named to the All-tournament team.

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