It was fitting that Arizona beat LSU on a walk-off homer run Sunday, capping a 13-run outburst, in an NCAA regional softball tournament that included 100 runs in seven games at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The lowest-scoring game was LSU’s 5-1 win over Arizona in the first game of the championship round earlier Sunday, forcing a winner-take-all final game.
Thanks to the GREATEST softball fans in the country for your support!!!
The Wildcats’ bats awoke in the second game against LSU pitcher Baylee Corbello, who came on in relief in the first inning. After subduing Arizona’s lineup in the first game, Corbello was no match in the second game allowing seven walks, 10 hits and 10 runs in 3 1/3 innings after she relieved rattled freshman starter Kelsee Selman in the first inning.
The Wildcats tallied 14 hits overall in the 13-5 win, which ended in five innings because of the eight-run mercy rule.
Corbello allowed only three hits in the opener. Arizona second baseman Mo Mercado, 0 for 3 in that game, made Selman and Corbello pay in the second game. She capped her 4 for 4 performance with a walk-off home run in the fifth inning on a 1-2 pitch from Corbello.
The Wildcats (44-14) earned their ninth Super Regional berth in the 10 years that the NCAA has included a Super Regional. Arizona, the No. 11 seed in the NCAA tournament, will travel to No. 6 Louisiana-Lafayette for a best-of-three series next weekend.
Arizona senior Shelby Babcock (6-0) pitched a six-hitter that included five strikeouts with four walks in the five innings.
The Wildcats rallied in the fourth inning, batting around the lineup, as left fielder Chelsea Suitos had an RBI single. Hallie Wilson, Arizona’s first baseman who was the standout of the regional, drove in a pair of runs with a single and shortstop Kellie Fox hit a sacrifice fly to put Arizona ahead 11-3.
LSU avoided the mercy rule in the top of the fifth after Babcock walked a pair of batters and LSU first baseman Sandra Simmons hit a two-run double on a 3-2 count.
After Corbello walked left fielder Katiyana Mauga to open Arizona’s bottom half of the fifth, Mercado hit her game-winnning home run over the left field fence.