Kirker, Cats reach end of the road

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GLENDALE — The following are updates on area athletes at the collegiate level.

Baillie Kirker (Crescenta Valley High, 2009) freshman infielder, University of Arizona softball: Over the course of the 2010 Women's College World Series, Arizona Coach Mike Candrea had remained committed to penciling Kirker into the lineup at first base for each of the team's first six games in the tournament.

But the former Falcons great's struggles at the plate only deepened as the Wildcats advanced deeper, finally forcing Candrea's hand into benching Kirker for the most important game of the season.

Kirker, riding an 0 for 12 skid over her last six games, was a spectator for the second game of the Wildcats' best-of-three championship game against UCLA on Tuesday evening, a witness to the Bruins' 15-9 victory that completed the championship sweep.

Arizona (52-14) fell behind, 6-0, in the first two innings and trailed, 7-1, before pulling to within 7-4 with three runs scored in the bottom of the fourth inning. But UCLA (50-11) exploded for seven more runs in the top of the fifth to take a 14-4 lead that threatened to enact the nine-run mercy rule.

Stacie Chambers hit two-run home runs for Arizona in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings to keep the game going.

Kirker, whose last hit came on May 29 against BYU in the clinching game of the Tucson Super Regional, batted .172 (25 for 145) on the season with three doubles, seven home runs and 27 runs batted in.

The Wildcats lost their first game of the World Series, 9-0, to Tennessee on Thursday, but heated up to win four straight elimination games between Saturday and Sunday.

Dustin Emmons (Crescenta Valley High, 2008) junior pitcher, UC Riverside baseball: Emmons' final appearance of the season brought him his ninth win.

The right-hander entered the Highlanders' May 26 game against UC San Diego in the top of the fifth inning with the bases loaded and UC Riverside clinging to a 7-6 lead.

He pitched 1 1/3 innings altogether, giving up one run in the top of the fifth, and becoming the pitcher of record when the Highlanders scored three runs to take the lead in the bottom half of the fifth and went on to win, 13-9.

Emmons' final outing of the year as a starter came on May 22 against UC Irvine, when he went six innings and gave up four earned runs on six hits and three walks.

He did not factor in the decision in UC Riverside's 15-12 win in 14 innings.

Emmons went 9-4 on the year with a 3.99 earned-run average. He started 13 games and logged 90 1/3 innings, striking out 51 batters and tossing two complete games, one of them a shutout.

The Highlanders ended their season on May 30 with a 13-1 home loss to UC Davis that saw them finish 32-23 and 13-11 in the Big West Conference for third place.

Bryan Longpre (Crescenta Valley High, 2006) senior pitcher, Cal State Northridge baseball: Longpre made his final appearance of the year in the Matadors' season-finale 15-4 loss to host Cal State Fullerton on May 30, pitching one inning and surrendering two earned runs on two hits and a walk.

The previous day, Longpre had a cleaner outing against the Titans, pitching a scoreless one-hit frame.

On the season, Longpre went 2-1 with a 4.54 ERA and 27 strikeouts to 12 walks.

CSUN was swept in its final three-game series of the season to fall to 29-27 and 9-15 in the Big West.

Danny Casey (Glendale Community College, 2009) junior infielder, Concordia University Irvine baseball: The Eagles (27-24) were eliminated from the Golden State Athletic Conference Tournament with a 9-6 loss to The Master's College on May 11.

Casey played third base in the game and went two for three with an RBI and a run scored, finishing up the season batting .345 with five home runs, 43 RBIs, 46 runs scored and 11 doubles.

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