Freshman Melissa Brown delivered a pinch-hit single in the fifth inning
June 6, 2010
By Brian Davis, Assistant Media Relations Director
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - On Sunday afternoon in front of 6,838 fans at the ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla., No. 3 Arizona (51-12) forced the `if necessary" match-up for a berth in the Women's College World Series best-of-three championship round with a commanding 8-0 (5 inn.) victory over No. 16/15 Tennessee (49-14). First pitch for the deciding game is set for 7:05 p.m. ET live on ESPN2 HD/ESPN3.com.
Freshman starting pitcher Ivy Renfroe took the defeat to fall to 31-5 overall, allowing three earned runs on four hits with a walk and five strikeouts over 2.2 innings of work. Sophomore Cat Hosfield permitted five earned tallies on five hits with four free passes and a K in 2.1 frames.
Tennessee's offense was limited to just two hits by a combination of Arizona hurlers Kenzie Fowler and Sarah Akamine. Senior catcher Tiffany Huff and freshman pinch hitter Melissa Brown each delivered singles during the bottom of the fifth inning for the Big Orange.
Just as in Thursday's night's contest between the two teams, Arizona left fielder Brittany Lastrapes led off the contest with a double off Renfroe. And just as in the first meeting, the Wildcats left her standing right there in scoring position. UA center fielder Lauren Schutzler looked at strike three, K'Lee Arredondo bounced out routinely to shortstop and catcher Stacie Chambers swung at a rise ball to K.
After Tennessee went down in order in the bottom of the first, Wildcat designated player Lini Koria was struck by a pitch and soon advanced to second on a sac bunt from second baseman Kristen Arriola. With two retired in the frame, first baseman Baillie Kirker swung and missed at strike three to give Renfroe four strikeouts through the opening two innings.
Sophomore third baseman Jessica Spigner became UT's initial base runner of the contest by drawing a walk to lead-off the bottom of the second. Senior first baseman Erinn Webb followed by drawing a free pass off Fowler and suddenly the Big Orange had two on and still no one retired. Following a failed sac bunt attempt that cut down the lead runner at third, Huff walked to load the bags. That's when things got truly bizarre as senior designated player Nicole Kajitani popped up right out in front of the plate. First baseman Kirker charged in from her defensive position, as the infield fly rule was called meaning the batter was automatically out, but the Arizona defender dropped the ball. One UT runner got caught and tagged out between second and third and just like that a strange double play ended Tennessee's monster threat.
Fresh off escaping a big jam, Arizona had the momentum as right fielder Karissa Buchanan and Lastrapes opened the top of the third with consecutive singles. Schutzler failed to drop the sac bunt, eventually striking out for the second time in the contest. The slap-hitting Arredondo chopped the ball perfectly toward third, but Andrews raced over and grabbed it while literally on her knees on the third base bag for the force. Chambers walked to load the bases for No. 5 hitter Bridgette Del Ponte. She stepped in and was struck on the shoulder by a 0-2 pitch to force in the first run of the game as Arizona nabbed a 1-0 advantage. Koria followed with a two-out single to left that brought home another tally as the `Cats made it 2-0. Renfroe exited at that point with Hosfield entering in relief, making her first career appearance at the WCWS. The Murfreesboro, Tenn., native walked the first batter she faced to force in a tally as the UA lead grew to 3-0. The 5-9 right hander rebounded to strikeout Kirker and limit any further damage as Arizona left three stranded.
Tennessee had been retired in order by Fowler during the third and fourth innings, allowing the `Cats the opportunity to add more on the scoreboard during the top of the fifth. Chambers christened the frame with a single back through the middle and advanced to second on a one-out walk issued to Koria. Spigner handled a bouncer off the bat of Arriola, turned and stepped on the third base bag for the force. With two retired pinch hitter Matte Haack walked to load the bases for Buchanan, who was 2-for-2 to that point in the match-up. She picked up her third hit of the contest as her slap single dropped just in front of left fielder Raven Chavanne, allowing two Arizona runners to score as the lead expanded to 5-0. Lastrapes followed with a two-RBI double to right as the advantage grew to 7-0. A single by Schutzler and an intentional walk issued to Arredondo loaded the bags for Chambers. A bouncer up the middle was corralled by Andrews, but too late to make a play at second as the eighth tally raced home, potentially bringing the run-rule into play.
With one out in the bottom of the fifth, Tennessee's Huff finally got UT into the hit column as her bouncer up the middle was deep enough on the infield for her to reach. Two batters later Brown singled through the right side to put a pair aboard for the Lady Vols with two retired. Chavanne stepped to the plate and bounced the first offering she received from reliever Sarah Akamine to short to end the contest and force the "if necessary" match-up for a berth in the WCWS Championship Series.