Cats swept out of tournament

For the second time in as many years, the Cal Golden Bears have proven to be the road block to a seventh national championship for the University of Arizona softball team.

The defending national champs defeated the Wildcats twice on Sunday, the second time by a score of 4 – 1 to advance to the national title game.

Cal jumped on the board first when centerfielder Kaleo Eldredge led off the top of the second with a homer to left center field. Arizona came back to tie the game up at one in the bottom half of the inning when an RBI double from Lisha Ribellia scored Jackie Coburn from first.

The Cats had another scoring opportunity an inning later with two outs and runners at the corners. However, Golden Bear catcher Courtney Scott picked off Courtney Fossatti at third base to end the threat.

In the top of the fifth, Veronica Nelson smashed a two-run homer to left-center field giving Cal the lead. They tacked on another run in the seventh when Chelsea Spencer singled home LeAnna Hoglen, wrapping up the game for the Bears.

Fresh off of a 12-inning victory, Cal pitcher Kelly Anderson silenced the Wildcat bats, giving up only one run on four hits. In 19 innings of work on Sunday she scattered nine hits and allowed only two Cats to cross home plate.

Arizona pitcher Alicia Hollowell tossed all 32 innings for the Wildcats during the tournament and threw over 300 pitches between the two games on Sunday.

With their two losses, Arizona finishes its season 56 – 7. Cal now moves on to face the winner of the UCLA – Texas game in the national championship on Monday.

Game 1 Arizona will need to beat Cal later this afternoon if they hope to advance to the national title game. Cal upended No. 1 Arizona 2-1 in a 12-inning thriller at the College Softball World Series in Oklahoma City.

The three-plus inning marathon saw a number of chances for both teams, but it was Cal who came out ahead. Chelsea Spencer hit a sharp, one-out single down the left field line to score Linzi Wescott.

The Cats were in trouble in both the 10th and 11th, but they could not overcome Cal loading the bases with just one out in the final inning. Wescott led off the inning with a single and Veronica Nelson walked for the third time. A wild pitch advanced the runners. A walk to Kaleo Eldridge loaded the bases for Spencer.

Cal had a chance to win it in the 10th, but a heads up play kept the game alive. With two outs LeAnna Hoglen hit a shot to the wall but was held to just a single. The next batter, Kaleo Eldridge , sent a long fly ball that drifted towards the left field foul line. Autumn Champion got to the ball but dropped it. Hoglen sprinted home, but Champion regained her composure and fired a strike to the Jung and Jung found Mackenzie Vandergeest at the plate, who tagged out a sliding Hoglen.

The Cats lone run came in the fourth. Lovie Jung walked and was sacrificed to second on a bunt by Mackenzie Vandergeest. Jackie Coburn crushed a double to the right field gap, easily scoring Jung.

Cal rallied in the bottom of the seventh. With one out Vicky Galindo hit a sharp liner up the middle, which Jung got to but could not handle. The next batter Lindsay James had an infield single, when Coburn's throw was not in time. Courtney Scott hit a hard single up the middle and Crystal Farley's throw to the plate was not in time. Hollowell was shaky early but pitched her way out of trouble. She put a runner on base in each of the first three innings but did not surrender a run in the early innings. Hollowell continued to mow down hitters. The record setter struck out 16, but just couldn't shut the door again in the twelfth.

Cal's Kelly Anderson was sharp as well. Like her Arizona counterpart, she was able to pitch out several jams. Arizona took advantage of walks and sacrifices to advance runners, but they scored just the lone run. She scattered five hits and allowed just one extra base hit.

The Cats and Bears square off this afternoon with a chance to advance to the championship game. The game was originally scheduled for 3:00 PST but will likely be delayed due to the length of the first game.

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