Cats advance to Oklahoma City

The rain returned just in time to dampen Oklahoma's parade. Despite a great rally, the Sooners lost the lead late and Arizona held on in a driving rainstorm to earn a birth to the College Softball World Series.

After finishing up a rain delay in the morning the skies were clear until late in the contest. It started to drizzle in the inning and the downpour started as Jessica Leslie came to bat with one on and two outs in the last inning. Alicia Hollowell closed out the game for her fourth save of the year by striking out Leslie.

The Wildcats were cruising early. Despite stranding seven runners in the first four innings, the Wildcats took a 3-0 lead into the bottom of the fourth.

Then disaster struck. Hollowell had a perfect game entering the fourth, but left the inning trailing by three runs. The Cats committed three errors and two infield hits led to a six-run Soonner rally. Oklahoma sent 10 batters to the plate in the inning and Alison Horne capped the inning with a grand slam and the Sooners led 6-3.

The Cats rallied in the sixth. Although they had two runners thrown out at the plate, the Wildcats plated four runs at regained the lead when Jen Martinez blasted a two-out, three-run shot to left field and the Cats led 7-6.

For Martinez, the Tucson native, it was just her second home run of the season. Earlier in the season she had a pinch hit grand slam against Oregon.

Mike Candrea went to the bullpen after the fourth and Leslie Wolf pitched a scoreless inning before giving way to Hollowell who re-entered the game in the sixth. Oklahoma also went to their bull pen. Freshman Stacy Braddock replaced starter Kami Keiter and surrendered the four runs.

The Sooners had runners at second and third with two out in the sixth, but Hollowell worked out of the jam with a huge strike out.

Wolf got her sixth win of the year.

The Cats return to the College Softball World Series after failing to reach Oklahoma City last year.

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