Freshman Jessie Harper snapped a streak of 13 at bats without a hit by singling in the final score to give Arizona a 3-2 victory over Baylor in game one of the best-of-three Super Regional of the NCAA Softball Championships.
UA (52-7) needs one more victory to earn its first trip to the Women’s College World Series since 2010. Baylor (46-13) must win Saturday to force a third game on Sunday.
UA’s Danielle O’Toole won her 30th game against four defeats, giving up six hits and walking none while Gia Rodoni (17-3) took the loss for Baylor in relief.
Mandie Perez led off the UA seventh with an infield single and after a wild pitch during Katiyana Mauga’s at bat moved her to second, Rodoni intentionally threw ball four. Mo Mercado followed with a single to left to load the bases with no outs. Harper followed with her first postseason hit to win the game.
Our Anthony Gimino with the report of last night’s thriller:
Jessie Harper stayed positive despite a mini-slump and helped Arizona move within one win of the World Series.https://t.co/89adA659t8
Arizona’s video crew at work:
One-for-13 in the postseason but that “one” was something last night.
WALK IT OFF HARP! pic.twitter.com/SQzPph2nJB
Hollywood script: And it was Harper’s birthday.
Arizona amassed 12 hits against a Baylor pitcher who threw two no-hitters last week in regional play.
Despite scoring just three runs tonight, Arizona's 12 hits were its most in a Super Regional game since 5/27/06 vs. LSU (14). pic.twitter.com/R5PGHLf8a7
One word says plenty for the 30-game winner.
Another succinct tweet by an Arizona standout:
What a night! ✊🏽😼