Tennessee sophomore Monica Abbott hurled a one-hit shutout to lead the Lady Volunteers to a 1-0 victory over Arizona in the opening game of the 2005 Women’s College World Series in Oklahoma City, Okla.
The sophomore, who was named to the Louisville Slugger/ NFCA All-America first team, struck out 12 of the 22 batters she faced and improved her numbers to 29 hits, one run, 12 walks, 141 strikeouts and 13 shutouts in her last 102 and a third innings.
“I’m extremely proud of our girls,” Tennessee head coach Karen Weekly said after picking up her 200th win at the school along with co-head coach Ralph Weekly. “Monica had a phenomenal game. We had a lot of kids do a lot of things today to contribute, and each of these kids had a big part in the win today. You have two all-American pitchers going at each other. Whoever flinches first, you know, somebody’s going to win the game.”
Abbott battled with Alicia Hollowell in a pitcher’s duel through the first six innings. Hollowell suffered the loss as she allowed one unearned run on four hits with 12 strikeouts in the seven-inning performance.
The deciding run in the game came with two outs in the sixth. Tonya Callahan drew a walk, and Katherine Card singled to right for one of her two hits in the game. An error by the right fielder allowed pinch runner Ashley Cline to slide under the tag with what would prove to be the winning run.
“I thought the key for us offensively would be to get the ball in play,” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “We just didn’t get it done today. When you don’t score, you don’t win. We have to regroup now, and we know it has been done before. As long as we have games, we have a chance to continue to play. We’ll see the character of our team.”
The Wildcats find themselves in relatively unfamiliar territory, as Candrea’s Arizona squad has now only lost its third opening-round game, the last being a 2000 loss to Southern Mississippi by an identical 1-0 score.
Tennessee will face the winner of Thursday’s second game between defending champion UCLA and California. The Wildcats will face the loser of that contest Saturday at 11 a.m.
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