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LSU uses Michigan errors to win in 13th

By wire services
Published May 28, 2004

OKLAHOMA CITY - Sara Fitzgerald scored on a pair of throwing errors in the bottom of the 13th inning Thursday, giving LSU a 3-2 victory over Michigan in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.

LSU plays defending champion UCLA, which got three RBIs apiece from Caitlin Benyi and Lisa Dodd to beat Stanford 8-2. Oklahoma also advanced, beating Washington 6-2, and awaited the winner of the late game between California and Florida State.

Fitzgerald singled for LSU with two outs and moved to second when Camille Harris beat out an infield single to shortstop Jessica Merchant. Fitzgerald moved to third when Merchant's throw got away from first baseman Jennifer Olds and scored when catcher Monica Schock couldn't handle rightfielder Courtney Betley's throw home.

Fitzgerald had stopped at third before Betley made her throw.

Grace Leutele hit a two-run homer to leftfield in the top of the 12th inning to give Michigan (54-12) a 2-0 lead.

The Tigers (55-10) came back to tie on a run-scoring by Leigh Ann Danos and a passed ball by Schock.

In the second game, Benyi hit a three-run homer during a six-run fourth inning as the Bruins took a 7-2 lead.

Keira Goerl (28-7), who pitched a no-hitter in the championship game last year, pitched a complete game for UCLA, giving up five hits, including a home run by Leah Nelson.

In Game 3, Oklahoma's first five runners reached base - three on singles and two on errors by Washington shortstop Amanda Oleson - as the Sooners took a 2-1 lead. After Jamie Fox struck out, Mariee Mena added a two-run single to give pitcher Kami Keiter (22-13) all the support she needed.

Oklahoma's Kristin Vesely had a two-run double in the sixth.

Dena Tyson and Oleson had run-scoring singles for the Huskies (45-20-1), who beat Oklahoma in the first round of the tournament last year.

Washington plays the loser of the California-Florida State game in the losers' bracket of the double-elimination tournament, and Stanford (47-18) plays Michigan.

UCLA came out of the losers' bracket to win the title last season.

SOUTH FLORIDA: Senior outfielder Holly Groves of Seminole was named a second-team All-American and senior pitcher Leigh Ann Ellis was named to the third team by the National Fastpitch Coaches Association. Groves led Division I with 82 RBIs while batting .422 with 18 home runs, all USF single-season records. She also set single-season records for hits (95), total bases (167) and slugging percentage (.742), and has career marks for home runs (33) and slugging percentage (.590). Ellis was 43-8, breaking her school record of 34 wins from 2003, and had 313 strikeouts in 2941/3 innings with a 0.93 ERA.

- Times staff writer Pete Young contributed to this report.

[Last modified May 28, 2004, 01:00:27]


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