April 3, 2004
TUCSON, AZ - UCLA took a five-run lead into the bottom of the seventh inning, but Arizona put together a one-out comeback to take a 7-5 win in the first Pac-10 game of the season for both teams. Caitlin Benyi had a second inning grand slam home run for UCLA (27-2, 0-1 Pac-10) and Keira Goerl struck out 10 in the loss.
After the Bruins were retired in order in the top of the first inning, UCLA pitcher Keira Goerl retired Arizona's leadoff batter, Caitlin Lowe, before Autumn Champion and Wendy Allen posted consecutive bunt singles, bringing Mackenzie Vandergeest to the plate with two on and one out. Vandergeest popped out on the infield fly rule, and Goerl was able to end the inning as Kristie Fox was called out on strikes.
UCLA responded with a rally of its own in the top of the second inning, as Claire Sua led off with a single up the middle. She was replaced by pinch runner Amanda Simpson who stole second base and went to third on a single by Jodie Legaspi, who went to second on the throw from the outfield to the plate, bringing Emily Zaplatosch to the plate with two runners in scoring position and no outs. Zaplatosch drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases for Lisa Dodd, and bring Arizona assistant coach Nancy Evans out of the dugout to talk to the Wildcat infield.
Dodd was able to push across the first run of the game, as she snuck a ground ball just fair down the left field line, scoring Simpson to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead. Wildcat pitcher Alicia Hollowell responded well, striking out the next two Bruin hitters, but Caitlin Benyi was next to hit and came through, hitting a grand slam to left field, giving UCLA a 5-0 lead after an inning and a half.
A two-out double in the bottom of the second by Samantha Quintero started an answering rally by Arizona, as a full-count walk to Crystal Farley brought Lowe to the plate with two on and two out. Lowe would also draw a full-count walk, loading the bases for Autumn Champion, who grounded into an inning-ending fielders choice.
UCLA loaded the bases again in the top of the third inning, as Sua walked on a full-count illegal pitch, Legaspi hit an infield chopper for a single and Emily Zaplatosch loaded the bases on a ball that was mis-played by Wildcat shortstop Fox. Unfortunately, the Bruins were unable to push a run across as Dodd grounded into a fielders choice with the out at the plate and Whitney Holum struck out to end the inning.
Arizona would threaten again in the bottom of the seventh inning, as Goerl issued a one-out walk to Farley and Lowe followed with a single to give the Wildcats two runners on base with one out. Champion also walked, loading the bases for Allen, who drew the third Arizona walk of the inning to force Farley across the plate for UA's first run of the game.
Mackenzie Vandergeest was up next for Arizona. She fouled off four straight pitches with a 1-2 count before putting the ninth pitch of the at-bat down the left field line for a grand slam to tie the game at 5-5. After Fox struck out, Coburn drew a full-count walk before Shelly Schultz put an 0-2 pitch over the left field fence for the walk-off home run, giving Arizona the 7-5 victory.
The Bruins and Wildcats are scheduled to play again tomorrow at 1 pm, in a game that will be broadcast live on College Sports TV.