Sports Briefs: baseball and softball


By staff and wire
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Wednesday, June 8, 2005

Softball bows out early from WCWS

The UA softball team knew it would have to deal with a shaky offensive unit in its return trip to the Women's College World Series in Oklahoma City after a one-year hiatus, but this could not have been what the Wildcats expected.

The Wildcats (45-12) were eliminated in double-elimination play after falling 1-0 to Tennessee in their opener and 1-0 to Texas in 11 innings in their third game. Arizona managed to sandwich a 3-2, 12-inning win over California in between the defeats.

While Wildcat pitchers Alicia Hollowell and Leslie Wolfe managed to give up just four runs in three games, the UA offense could only muster three of their own, collecting a dismal 10 hits during the series.

The exit marks the first time the Wildcats will send a senior class out of Tucson without a Women's College World Series championship since 1990. Seniors Jackie Coburn, Crystal Farley, Allyson Von Liechtenstein and redshirt junior Courtney Fossatti, forced to end her career with another year of eligibility remaining due to injury, leave Tucson ring-less. The 2005 season marks the first time the Wildcats failed to win at least 50 games since 1993.

Arizona did, however, make its 17th WCWS trip in 18 years, as well as tie for the Pac-10 Championship.

Baseball bounced from region of death

The "region of death" moniker awarded to the Fullerton, Calif., sector of the NCAA baseball tournament lived up to its name over the weekend, as No. 7 Arizona, No. 4 Cal State Fullerton, the defending NCAA champion, and No. 16 Missouri were among the four teams chosen to head to Fullerton's Southern California campus.

But the Wildcats, who were sitting with a 2-0 record after knocking off Mizzou and the host Titans in back-to-back days, ended up killing themselves.

The Titans nearly battled back from a 6-1 deficit, ultimately falling by just one Saturday night before winning three straight elimination games one over Missouri and a pair of the Wildcats to advance to the NCAA Super Regionals this week.

The Titans' victory ended the Wildcats' hopes of a chance to battle rival Arizona State this weekend in either Tempe or Tucson for a return trip to Omaha and the College World Series.

The Wildcats, led at the plate by junior outfielder Trevor Crowe and junior catcher Nick Hundley, finished its season with a 39-21 mark and second-place Pacific 10 Conference finish.

Crowe, the Pac-10 co-Player of the Year and a finalist for the prestigious Golden Spikes award given to the nation's top overall player after leading the conference in batting with a .421 clip was drafted yesterday by the Cleveland Indians with the 14th overall selection in the first round. Hundley, the Wildcats' team leader with 15 home runs, was chosen in the second round by the San Diego Padres with the 76th overall selection.

- Compiled from staff and wire reports