Wildcats outlast Hofstra, will be at home for softball Super Regionalby Anthony Gimino on May. 23, 2010, under Sports
All seems right with Arizona softball again. The Wildcats have advanced to an NCAA Super Regional, which will played at home Friday and Saturday against BYU.
Arizona was pushed to 12 innings by Hofstra on Sunday, but the Cats rallied twice in extra innings. Matte Haack‘s pinch-hit home run tied the game at 4 in the bottom of the ninth, but Hofstra forged ahead with two runs in the top of the 12th.
Karissa Buchanan and Lauren Schutzler singled to put the tying runs on base, and then K’Lee Arredondo delivered a one-out, two-run triple into the right-center field gap. Hofstra intentionally walked the next two batters to set up a force at any base, but that didn’t matter when Lini Koria smashed a grand slam to win the game 10-6.
Arizona went 3-0 in the Tucson Regional. If Hofstra would have won, the teams would have played again in a winner-take-all game. That could have been dicey for the Cats, considering ace Kenzie Fowler had pitched 11 1/3 innings before Sarah Akamine finished up with two outs to get the win.
“That was probably the best performance I have seen as far as grit, fight and the never-give-up from the people out there,” UA coach Mike Candrea said in his post-game news conference.
“For K’Lee to come up as a senior and embrace the moment and come through in the clutch was huge. And with Lini, I told her, ‘Let’s do one for (Lini’s late mother)’ and boom. It was remarkable.
“It was one of the greatest wins. For the time, for what the game meant and for the situation we were in, it was one of the biggest games since I’ve been here.”
Arizona will play BYU in the best-of-three Super Regional, with the winner advancing to the Women’s College World Series. The Wildcats will be looking to advance to their 22nd World Series in the past 23 seasons.
To get there, they will have to conquer a good-hitting Cougars team that features a couple of premier senior sluggers.
Third baseman Angeline Quiocho, the Mountain West Conference Player of the Year, has 27 home runs and entered last week as the nation’s leader in homers (0.5 per game). First baseman Andrea Ramirez has 19 home runs and was 10th in the country at 0.35 per game.
The bracket has worked in Arizona’s favor so far. BYU upset seventh-seeded host Texas in regional play. If Texas had won, the Wildcats — seeded 10th in the tournament — would have had to travel to Austin for the Super Regional.
Now, there is more softball at Hillenbrand … always a good thing for the Cats.