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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball forces elimination game with Tennessee

OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Arizona softball team is trying to do something that has only been done four times in Women’s College World Series history — win twice on Sunday.

Arizona’s WCWS dreams were put in jeopardy Thursday when the Tennessee Lady Volunteers run-ruled the Wildcats 9-0, setting Arizona (51-12) on a path of win or go home for the rest of the tournament.

The Wildcats returned the favor in a revenge game on Sunday, defeating Tennessee Lady Volunteers 8-0 in five innings.

In the Women’s College World Series, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is 15-2 in rematch games after a team has previously beat them in the WCWS.

The bats came alive in the third inning when right fielder Karissa Buchanan once again got the Wildcats going with her first infield single of the day in the third inning. Buchanan would finish the day 3-for-3 with two RBIs.

Right fielder Brittany Lastrapes followed Buchanan with a single of her own to put two Arizona batters on base with no outs.

The Wildcats have been most productive when scoring runs with two outs in an inning, and Arizona kept their trend going in the third. After junior Lauren Schutzler struck out and senior K’Lee Arredondo grounded into a fielder’s choice, catcher Stacie Chambers walked to keep the inning alive.

The middle of the lineup had struggled heavily in the tournament for Arizona, going 1-for-41 before third baseman Brigette Del Ponte stepped up to the plate.

Tennessee pitcher Ivy Renfroe, who kept the Wildcats at bay on Thursday, then hit Del Ponte to score Arizona’s first run of the game.

And from there, the Wildcats started to roll.

Arizona put up three runs in the third inning off of a single from designated player Lini Koria and a walk by second baseman Kristen Arriola. Renfroe would be lifted in favor of Cat Hosfield, who gave up five more runs in the top half of the fifth inning.

Small ball continued to be the name of the game for the Wildcats. They still have not hit a home run in Oklahoma City, Okla., this year.

Freshman pitcher Kenzie Fowler (37-7) was successful at keeping the Lady Volunteers off the board. She pitched four innings without allowing a hit and struck out three. Senior Sarah Akamine pitched the fifth inning for the Wildcats and kept Tennessee shutout.

The most important statistic for Fowler might be the one she didn’t record. Fowler was not called for any illegal pitches in Sunday’s first game.

Arizona will face Tennessee again at 4 p.m. Pacific Time with the winner advancing to the championship series to face UCLA for the national title. The Wildcats will be the designated home team.

 

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