April 6, 2002
TUCSON, Ariz. - The top two teams in the country squared off at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tucson on Saturday afternoon, with Arizona earning the 3-2 win over the Bruins. UCLA is now 33-6 (1-3 Pac-10). The Wildcats and Bruins will square off again on Sunday at 1 pm. The game will be broadcast live on www.uclabruins.com.
The Bruins threatened in the third inning, starting with a leadoff double by third baseman Toria Auelua. After Amanda Simpson came in to pinch run for Auelua, she was advanced to third on a sacrifice bunt by Monique Mejia. Natasha Watley followed with an infield single, and advanced to second on a ground-out by Amanda Freed before the half inning ended on a pop-out by Tairia Mims.
Arizona then threatened in the bottom half of the inning, with Lovianne Jung drawing a leadoff walk. Lindsay Fossatti followed with a fielders choice. Following a walk to Leneah Manuma, an odd play followed, with Jennie Finch at the plate. Finch popped up, with the ball headed to foul territory in right field. A strong wind blew the ball fair as UCLA's second baseman, first baseman and right fielder converged on the ball as it dropped fair. The play resulted in a fielders choice with runners at the corners, as Mims threw out Manuma at second base. The inning would end as Jenny Gladding lined out to Bruin Natasha Watley at shortstop.
UCLA threatened again in the fourth, but once again could not push a run across the plate. Stephanie Ramos notched a one-out hit, went to second when Crissy Buck was hit by a Finch pitch with two outs. The runners advanced to second and third on a wild pitch, before Toria Auelua struck out looking on an outside pitch.
The Wildcats did not notch their first hit of the ball game until the fourth inning, when catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest singled to left field. She would not advance past first base.
The top of the fifth inning saw UCLA push across the first run of the game. Monique Mejia led off with a double, reaching second on a hit that went off of Finch's glove before rolling into left field. Mejia would advance to third on a sacrifice bunt by Watley, and came across the plate on an RBI single through the right side by Tairia Mims to give the Bruins a 1-0 lead.
The game turned the Wildcats way in the sixth, as Finch led off with a single down the left field line. UA head coach Mike Candrea pinch-ran for Finch, and pinch-hit for his designated player with Carrie Hagen, who grounded into a fielders choice with pinch-runner Rebekah Quiroz out on the play. Vandergeest followed with her ninth home run of the season, a shot to right field that gave UA a 2-1 lead.
The Bruins played a tenacious top of the seventh inning, as Auelua led off with a walk, and Julie Hoshizaki came in to pinch run. Hoshizaki advanced to second on a ground out by Mejia, and would score from second on a single to right field. Watley tried to advance to second base on the throw home, but overslid the bag and was tagged out for the second out of the inning, despite providing the game-tying RBI. The inning ended and the game went to the bottom of the seventh inning tied at two after Amanda Freed popped out.
Following the dramatic top of the seventh, Bruin pitcher Amanda Freed notched the first out of the inning, striking out the leadoff hitter, pinch-hitter Candace Abrams. Jung then came to the plate and hit a walk-off home run just inches over the 220 marker in centerfield.
With the loss, Freed falls to 15-2 on the season. She struck out eight and walked four while allowing four hits to Finch's seven.
These same two teams return to the diamond on Sunday afternoon for a 1 pm first pitch.