Nancy Evans tossed a three-hitter to pace Arizona to an 8-0 victory Thursday against Illinois-Chicago in a first-round game of the Women's College World Series in front of 1,596 at Hall of Fame Stadium.
Top-ranked Arizona (61-3) will face Fresno State (49-14), a 1-0 winner over UCLA, today at 4 p.m. PDT.
Evans (17-0), a freshman right-hander whose 12 perfect games while at Hoover High set a Southern Section record, walked one and struck out six in a game called after five innings because of a mercy rule.
Evans got the start over senior ace Susie Parra (30-1), who pitched all 39 innings for the Wildcats in last year's national championship tournament.
"I was told (Wednesday) that I was going to start," Evans said. "I definitely had butterflies today and yesterday, but today was just like any other game. My nerves were gone after I stepped on to the rubber, but the butterflies were still there."
Jenny Dalton, a sophomore from Glendale High, hit a two-run single to key a four-run second inning for the Wildcats.
Leah O'Brien hit a two-run home run in the fourth for a 6-0 lead and it was only an inning later when the Wildcats pushed across two more runs to end it in the fifth.
Fresno State 1, UCLA 0--Despite a 14-strikeout performance by Bruin ace DeeDee Weiman, Fresno State rallied with two out in the seventh to score an earned run and held on to beat UCLA.
It is the only loss in 12 tournament championship appearances for UCLA, winner of seven NCAA titles.
With bases loaded and two out in the seventh, UCLA's Jenny Brewster struck out looking on a full-count, inside curveball to end it.
"I had a feeling she was gonna come inside," Brewster said. "You gotta swing and hit the ball in order to score and I didn't do that. It was too close to take."
UCLA (41-13) will face Illinois-Chicago (56-18-1) at 10 a.m. PDT Saturday.
Utah 2, Oklahoma State 0--The Utes (51-11) scored two unearned runs in the eighth inning on two hits and two errors and held on to beat Oklahoma State (43-11).
Utah's Ali Andrus (32-6) threw a one-hitter, struck out seven, and faced just one over the minimum in eight innings.