Softball downs Alabama 3-2 at CWS

Arizona freshman All-American Alicia Hollowell wasn't at her very best but struck out 13 and limited Alabama to two hits in her College World Series pitching debut, leading Arizona to a 3-2 victory over the Crimson Tide in the Cats' first-round game.

UA (55-5) moved into a second-round game against the Washington-Oklahoma winner tomorrow at 4:30 p.m. Alabama will play the loser of that contest at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Hollowell put herself in a jam in the second inning, walking the leadoff hitter, Tide pitcher Stephanie VanBrakle. Pinch runner Deasy Phillips stole second, and Hollowell walked Lacy Prejean. A sacrifice bunt by Staci Ramsey moved both runners up.

The next batter, Emily Currie, fouled a 1-1 pitch off the right side of her face, causing a cut which required medical treatment and required her to leave the game. Pinch-hitter Capper Reed inherited the count and struck out, credited to Currie. Then Dominique Acceturro fouled out to catcher to end the threat.

UA put a runner in scoring position in the second when Wendy Allen walked and was sacrificed to second by Jackie Coburn. But Vanbrakle got Erin Palomarez to fly to center and Lisha Ribellia struck out looking.

An inning later, Crystal Farley led off with an infield single, Autumn Champion walked and Courtney Fossatti slapped a single to load the bases. Arizona RBI leader Lovie Jung doubled to right-center to bring in two runs, and Wendy Allen drove in Fossatti with a ground ball to the right side to make it 3-0.

A wild pitch by Hollowell hurt the Cats in a big way in the fifth, cutting the lead to 3-2.

Staci Ramsey hit a leadoff single for Alabama Hollowell struck out Reed looking, then struck out Acceturro swinging for the apparent third out, but the pitch went wild and she reached first safely. Ashley Courtney doubled down the rightfield line to score both runners. Hollowell then recorded her fourth strikeout of the inning against Jen Reach but the damage was done.

Jung ended her streak of seven consecutive hits in post season play by striking out in the fifth. She had a first-inning single to go with her double and is 11-for-15 in NCAA action.

Hollowell improved to 39-3, extending her school record. VanBrakle dropped to 18-6.

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