UA softball clears first game of WCWS
The Arizona softball team celebrates after beating Ole Miss 9-1 to advance to the Women's College World Series. Team wears 'OKC Bound' hats as they take on Washington in Oklahoma City on Thursday May 30th as part of the opening for the College World Series.
The University of Arizona won its first game of the Women’s College World Series 3-1 in extra innings over Pac-12 foe Washington.
The first game of the WCWS was a good old-fashioned pitchers duel between Arizona and Washington.
The Wildcats hadn’t been to Oklahoma City since 2010 where they lost in the championship to UCLA. This is the third straight year for Washington going to OKC, and last year they lost in the championship series to Florida State.
Both pitchers came out strong for Arizona and Washington and neither offense could get going. It took until the fourth inning for the Wildcats to get their first hit of the game on a Malia Martinez double that just missed going out.
But as the game went in to the later innings, the Arizona batters started getting better at-bats against the Huskies right-handed Taran Alvelo. In the top of the sixth the nation’s leader in home runs, Jessie Harper, cranked her 29th of the season and broke the tie.
Just when it looked like that one run might be enough for the ‘Cats to take game one, Washington's Sami Reynolds tied the game with a home run of her own.
Both teams threatened with two runners on in the seventh but neither offense was able to get a run across. A year after no extra inning games in the WCWS — game one would need extras.
After Martinez reached on a single, Dejah Mulipola crushed her 23rd home run of the year to straight-away center-field to give the Wildcats a 3-1 lead. After a Husky was able to reach base in the bottom half of the inning, UA's Taylor McQuillin produced two popups to end the inning and the Wildcats won its first game of the WCWS.