SOFTBALL World Series

Saturday, May 26th 2001, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) _ A crowd of 7,422, generously sprinkled with hometown fans, couldn't cheer the Oklahoma Sooners to a victory over the Arizona Wildcats.

The No. 1 seed Wildcats had to rally in extra innings, but they managed to take a 5-4 victory over the Sooners on Friday and advance to Sunday's semifinal game in the Women's College World Series.

Nicole Giordano scored in the top of the eighth inning on a two-out throwing error from Oklahoma's Kelli Braitsch. The run capped a five-run rally for the Wildcats (63-4).

No. 5 Oklahoma (50-8) loaded the bases with two outs in the bottom of the inning, but Arizona's Jennie Finch (31-0) got LaKisha Washington to ground out.

The Sooners will play an elimination game late Saturday against the winner of an elimination game between Louisiana State and Iowa scheduled for earlier in the day.

In another game on Friday, UCLA got fourth-inning homers from Claire Sua and Toria Auelua to beat Stanford 5-0.

Sua's three-run shot off Dana Sorensen (26-5) broke a scoreless tie. Later in the inning, Auelua's two-run homer made it 5-0 for the second-seeded Bruins (61-5), which advanced to Sunday's semifinal.

The sixth-seeded Cardinal (53-15-1) will play Saturday night against the winner of an earlier elimination game between California and Michigan.

Keira Goerl (27-2) pitched five-innings of three hit ball to earn the win.

Friday night's crowd at Hall of Fame Stadium tied the second-largest attendance recorded in tournament history. That occurred during last year's semifinal game between Friday night's teams, the Oklahoma Sooners and the Arizona Wildcats.