May 25, 2003
OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. - Chelsea Spencer hit a bases loaded single down the left field line in the bottom of the 12th inning to bring home Linzi Wescott and give California (48-19) a hard-fought 2-1 victory in 12 innings against top-seeded Arizona (56-6) Sunday afternoon at the Women's College World Series at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium.
With the win, the Bears remain alive in the College World Series and will face Arizona again later today for the right to advance to their second straight national championship game. Game time is tentatively scheduled for approximately 4:15 p.m. PDT, and will be televised on ESPN2.
The game was a rematch of last year's national championship game in which Cal scored six times in the top of the seventh inning to earn the first championship by a women's team in school history. The Bears are now 2-4 all-time against Arizona in the postseason.
Arizona plated its only run in the fourth inning on a double by Wendy Allen that scored Lovie Jung, The Bears waited until the last possible inning to keep themselves in contention. With one out in the bottom of the seventh, Vicky Galindo reached on a fielding error by Jung. Lindsay James beat out a bunt to put runners on first and second, and Courtney Scott took the first pitch she saw into centerfield, bringing Galindo around to score and tying the game at 1-1.
And that's the way it would stay until the 12th inning. Scott led off with a hard single to left field and was replaced at first by Wescott. Veronica Nelson hit a bomb to left that had plenty of distance to end the game, but curved foul. She eventually would walk, her fourth free pass of the day, and was replaced by pinch runner Jen Deering. A wild pitch moved the runners to second and third before Kaleo Eldredge drew a walk to load the bases. Spencer then singled down the left field line to bring in the winning run in Wescott.
Cal also had a shot to win the game in the bottom of the 10th inning. Haley Woods singled to left center with two outs and was replaced by pinch runner LeAnna Hoglen. Eldredge followed with a fly ball down the left field line that Autumn Champion looked like she was going to catch. Although Champion dropped the ball, she recovered with a great throw to Jung who relayed the ball to catcher Mackenzie Vandergeest who applied the tag on Hoglen as she was racing around from first base.
With one out in the top of the fifth, Arizona strung together three straight singles, including a pair that never left the infield, to load the bases. Anderson got Courtney Fossatti to strike out looking and a Lovie Jung groundout got Cal out of the inning unscathed.
Eldredge got the Bears' first hit of the game when she lined a basehit into left centerfield to open the fourth inning. Spencer followed with a hard single down the left field line to move Eldredge to second base. Both runners would advance on a passed ball, but Hollowell struck out the side to thwart the Cal attack.
Cal also threatened in the first as Galindo reached first on a fielding error by Arizona pitcher Alicia Hollowell and advanced to second on a sacrifice bunt by James. Nelson received her 41st intentional walk of the year to give the Bears a pair of baserunners, but they were left stranded.
Kelly Anderson pitched a complete game gem for Cal to improve her record to 22-11. She threw all 12 innings, allowing just one run on five hits while striking out nine. She has now thrown 32 innings through four games at the World Series, allowing just six runs, four earned, on 15 hits.
Over its last 78 postseason innings dating to last season, Cal pitching has combined to allow just five earned runs (seven total) while the Bears have scored 43 runs during the same span.
Cal remains alive and will face Arizona again at approximately 4:15 p.m. PDT on ESPN2 in another elimination game. At stake is a berth in the naitonal championship game against the winner of Texas/UCLA. The title game is scheduled for Monday, May 26, at 12:30 p.m. PDT.
NCAA Softball Results at Hall of Fame Stadium Oklahoma City, Okla.
Arizona 000 100 000 000 - 1 5 3 California 000 000 100 001 - 1 7 2