May 23, 2009

Courtesy of Arizona Athletics

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- Ninth-seeded Arizona finally found a way to win at Stanford, defeating the eight-seed Cardinal 7-3 on Friday evening to force a third game in the Super Regional.

The winner of the third game - to be played at 8:25 p.m. tonight - will advance to the Women's College World Series.

Jennifer Martinez (11-4) picked up her first career postseason win, scattering five hits while allowing two earned runs and striking out three. Sarah Akamine picked up a save, allowing only two hits in three innings pitched, fanning five.

Missy Penna (35-7) scattered eleven hits and four earned runs, with five strikeouts in six innings pitched. The senior issued one walk.

Stanford plated a run in their first at-bats as the designated visitors. Pac-10 Freshman of the Year Ashley Hansen doubled, then Shannon Koplitz drove her in with a single through the right side, opening the game's scoring.

Penna tossed a total of five pitches in the Arizona half, retiring the side in order.

Victoria Kemp nabbed the first hit for Arizona (45-15) in the third: a single through the left side. After two strikeouts, Brittany Lastrapes singled through the right side then Arredondo smoked the first pitch she saw to right for her 13th home run of the season, giving Arizona a 3-1 lead.

But the Cardinal (48-10) tied the game the next inning. Koplitz doubled to left center, then Maddy Coon singled and went to second on an error, while Koplitz scored. Melisa Koutz flew out to shallow right field, where second baseman Kemp and right fielder Karissa Buchanan collided, allowing Coon to advance to third. Buchanan was attended to by the UA Athletic Trainer Sara Bach, but hopped up after a few minutes. Rosey Neill then smacked a fly ball to centerfield, deep enough to score Coon and tie the game at three.

The Cats struck back with two of their own in the bottom half of the fourth. Sam Banister walked, then Lini Koria moved her over with an infield single. They both moved up on a wild pitch that went through the wickets of catcher Neill, and two outs later, pinch hitter Kristen Arriola chopped a ball to Koplitz at third who mishandled it, allowing Banister to score an unearned run. Lastrapes hit a line drive single to score Koria and bring the margin to 5-3 in favor of UA.

After allowing a leadoff double to Jenna Becerra in the fifth, Martinez was lifted for Akamine. The junior recorded a strikeout, then tossed a wild pitch to Alissa Haber that allowed Becerra to reach third. But Akamine struck out Haber, then got Koplitz to ground out to third to come out of the inning unscathed.

Stacie Chambers hit a one-out single to start the UA half of the fifth. Banister popped out, then Koria lined a shot off the glove of pitcher Penna and into centerfield. Kemp shot a 1-1 pitch off the wall in right field for a double, scoring pinch runner Jill Malina and opening up a 6-3 margin.

Buchanan hit a high bouncer off the plate for an infield single in the Arizona sixth, then moved to third when Neill's throw to first went past first baseman Melisa Koutz and to the right field wall. Lastrapes cashed in and hit a bloop single into left center to score the freshman. Arredondo reached on a bunt fielder's choice where Lastrapes reached second safely, but Penna recorded three straight outs to end the inning, UA up 7-3.