Arizona softball falls to Huskies in deciding game
The No. 16 Arizona softball team was defeated 8-3 by the No. 17 Washington Huskies in the deciding game of the Wildcats’ first Pac-12 series of the year at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Washington beat Arizona in the series opener on Saturday and despite matching Washington’s eight hits, fell 7-1. The Wildcats responded on Sunday, finding an offense that had been otherwise absent against ranked teams this year, as Arizona battled to a 7-4 victory.
“Offensively, I thought we matched them pretty well,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “Obviously it’s not about how many hits, it’s about when you get them. The long ball hurt us tonight and it’s something we need to be able to change.”
Washington struck with a home run to go up 1-0 in the first and was in control of the offensive rhythm for the majority of the game. The Huskies increased their lead in the top of the third after an RBI double made it 2-0 and an error by freshman Courtney Rodriguez allowed another run to score to put Washington up 3-0.
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA Softball team lost for the second time to Washington Monday night. They played a total of 3 games against Washington and lost 2 of them.
The Wildcats’ offense was limited by the Huskies’ for the first three innings before emerging in the second half of the game.
Sophomore Hallie Wilson put the UA on the board in the bottom of the third with her fourth home run of the season to make it 3-1.
Wilson contributed with three hits on the night.
“I think we did a good job of battling back when we had the opportunity,” Wilson said. “We got the key hit we needed, but couldn’t keep the runs off the board. We need to keep the free passes to a minimum, but overall I think we made strides tonight.”
The Huskies retaliated with a solo home run in the fourth to make it 4-1 and added a double for another two runs to make it 6-1 in the fifth.
The Wildcats added two of their own in the bottom of the fifth, when freshman Lauren Young hit a double to center and tightened the game to 6-3. Young drove in two runs and compiled two hits on Monday’s game. Junior Alex Lavine also had two hits on the night.
“I feel that today we came out and battled offensively,” Young said. “I think we are going to come out harder than we did this past weekend in the future. We are going to keep attacking and work on perfecting our defense as well.”
Washington closed the door in the sixth with a two-run home run to make it 8-3.
Junior Estela Piñon started the game for Arizona and allowed three runs (two earned) on three hits while walking two and striking out one in two innings pitched. Junior Shelby Babcock relieved after pitching a complete game in Sunday’s victory and allowed five runs on six hits while walking two and striking out two in four innings. Freshman Nancy Bowling closed out the game giving up a walk in one innings pitched. Throughout the game, Arizona pitchers combined for five walks.
“I thought we gave up too much,” Candrea said. “I liked our ability to battle and compete, but we had to put some zeros up on the board and weren’t able to do that.”