UA SOFTBALL

Arizona softball: Two-out homer in 10th gives Cats win

2013-04-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T12:09:22Z Arizona softball: Two-out homer in 10th gives Cats winPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Hallie Wilson's two-out, walk-off home run sailed toward the Hillenbrand Stadium scoreboard, and the 20-year-old ballpark collectively exhaled.

The Arizona Wildcats' 8-6, 10-inning win against UCLA on Thursday night was remarkable for what it was - and what it was not.

"This was probably one of the coolest things I've ever done," said Wilson, who hit a first-pitch changeup with the UA down to its final out. "Just pretty stoked right now."

Shelby Babcock was dominant most of Thursday night, betrayed only by her defense, until Ally Carda ripped her 158th pitch off the batter's eye to lead off the 10th inning and give the Bruins a one-run lead.

The Wildcats (28-17, 5-8 Pac-12) had blown a 5-0 lead, undermined by errors that handed the Bruins (28-15, 5-11) five unearned runs, and were staring at a loss - until, with two on and two out, Wilson stepped to the plate.

"We needed something like that, to be honest with ya," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "That woulda been a dagger tonight.

"Hopefully it will give us a big boost and a little energy."

After being no-hit and handed a perfect game in their last two contests, the Wildcats scored five runs in the second inning.

Chelsea Goodacre singled off the wall to start the inning. She moved to second when Brigette Del Ponte was hit by a pitch and scored on Lauren Young's opposite-field single off the right-field wall. Mandie Perez drove Del Ponte in with a sacrifice fly to left that drifted almost to the warning track.

After Courtney Rodriguez whiffed and Alex Lavine singled, Wilson shot a grounder past the shortstop to score Young and give the Wildcats a 3-0 lead.

That chased UCLA starting pitcher Paige McDuffee after 1 2/3 innings.

In relief, Carda gave up a Chelsea Suitos bloop that scored two more to give the Wildcats their most prolific inning in conference play this year.

If the second inning was a throwback to the UA's great teams, the fourth was this year - disappointing.

The Wildcats practically handed UCLA its runs.

With two outs and a runner on, second baseman Suitos committed her second error of the game, booting a grounder. That brought up the No. 8 hitter, Devon Lindvall, who lifted a foul ball down the third base line.

Perez, the left fielder, charged the foul pop, ran parallel to the UA bullpen, and reached for the ball as it fell from the sky. The ball hit the pocket of her glove and popped out. She was not given an error.

With new life, Lindvall singled home UCLA's first run.

A bunt single later, leadoff hitter B.B. Bates launched a grand slam over Candrea's Corner, the cheering section beyond the left field wall.

Bates' 16th homer - and third grand slam on the season - tied the game at 5.

Babcock didn't let the errors bother her.

The junior retired seven in a row until Allexis Bennett led off the seventh with a walk. Bennett stole second, but was called out when the first-base umpire ruled she left early. Babcock retired the next two to end the frame.

Babcock took the eighth into her own hands, recording three outs on her own - catching a line drive, a one-hopper and, after a walk, striking out Gracie Goulder swinging.

"I thought 'Babs,' she threw her butt off tonight," Candrea said.

She pitched around a leadoff double in the ninth before giving up the 10th-inning blast. She allowed one earned run on eight hits in 10 innings, throwing a career-high 180 pitches and striking our a career-best 10.

ARIZONA 8

UCLA 6

The series

• Who: UCLA vs. Arizona at Hillenbrand Stadium

• When: Tonight at 5 p.m. (ESPNU); Saturday at 6 p.m. (Pac-12 Arizona)

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