No. 24 Softball Loses Heart-breaker To No. 1 Arizona
Feb. 10, 2002
PHOENIX, Ariz. -- Leneah Manuma's single in the bottom of the eighth inning scored the winning run from third as the No. 1 University of Arizona softball team beat No. 24 Massachusetts, 1-0.
Arizona had numerous scoring chances in the early innings, but could not break through against UMass junior pitcher Kaila Holtz (North Vancouver, British Columbia). The Wildcats loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the second, but Holtz struck out Mackenzie Vandergeest to end the threat.
In the bottom of the fifth inning Arizona loaded the bases with one out, but the Minutewomen were able to turn a double-play to end the inning,. Holtz fielded the come-backer and threw home to sophomore catcher Jamie Cahalan (Mesa, Ariz.) who then threw to junior first baseman Brandi Cross (Diamond Bar, Calif.) to complete the twin-killing.
Arizona threatened once again in the bottom of the sixth when pitcher Jennie Finch hit a single to center. The runner from second tried to score, but was gunned down by senior Teri Rooney (Visalia, Calif.).
The Minutewomen attempted a little two-out magic of their own in the top of the seventh. A walk by senior Scooter Wheeler (Kingsburg, Calif.) was followed by a Holtz single, but they could not produce the go-ahead run.
With a runner already on second base in the bottom of the eighth due to the international tie-breaker rule, a lead-off bunt to the left turned into a single and the Wildcats had runners on first and third with no outs. After Holtz retired the next batter on a come-backer, Manuma hit a seeing-eye single down the left field line that kicked up chalk as it landed safely and gave the Wildcats a dramatic victory.
Holtz scattered seven hits on the day, while striking out seven and walking four. For the Wildcats, Finch gave up three hits and one walk, while striking out 15. Rooney produced two of the three hits for UMass, who stranded four runners on base. Arizona left nine.
UMass, who is now 3-2 on the season, returns to action Feb. 22-24, when they participate in the NFCA Lead-Off Classic in Columbus, Ga.
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