Arizona sophomore Hallie Wilson hooked the first pitch she saw from UCLA pitcher Ally Carda deep into the Tucson night for a three-run home run to give the 19th ranked Wildcats an 8-6 10th inning walk-off win over the 25th ranked UCLA Bruins.
The blast ended a memorable night in which the Wildcats celebrated the 20th anniversary of Hillenbrand Stadium by debuting a copper batting helmet similar to the one the football team wore during a game against Oregon State last season.
UA (28-17, 5-8 Pac-12) jumped out to the early lead in the game scoring five runs on five hits in the 2nd inning against Bruins starter Paige McDuffee.
UCLA (28-15, 5-11) came back to tie the game with five runs of their own in the 4th. Junior B.B. Bates' grand slam was the equalizer. Her nation leading 16th home run of the season.
The Bruins took a 6-5 lead in the top of the 10th on a home run by Carda.
Arizona's game-winning rally began with a one-out single by freshman Mandie Perez. Courtney Rodriguez followed that with a sacrifice bunt that UCLA third sacker Mysha Sataraka tried to turn into a force play at second, but her throw skipped the glove of second sacker Gracie Goulder allowing Perez with reach safely.
With runners and 2nd and 3rd, Carda (19-7) struck out the Wildcats Alex Lavine before giving up Wilson's 6th home run of the season.
Shelby Babcock (14-6) went all the way for Arizona allowing just one earned run in ten innings while striking out ten.
Game Two of the series is Friday night at 5 p.m.
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