Arizona softball falls in double-header to No. 5 California
The No. 19 Arizona softball team fell in the first two games of a midweek series against No. 5 California, dropping the first game 6-2 and the second 5-1 at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night.
In their previous matchups, Arizona has a 69-26 record, despite losing the series in each of the past two seasons.
“We had our chances,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “To play at this level, you have to match people pitch for pitch, and right now we are giving up too much.”
In game two, after seeing Cal take a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first, Arizona responded with a run of its own when sophomore Hallie Wilson hit her fifth home run of the season to tie it up at one run apiece.
Carl Miller / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Softball faces Cal during a double-header Tuesday night. The Wildcats lost the first game 2-6 but "SECOND GAME SCORE."
The score remained tied until the top of the fifth inning, when the Bears tacked on four runs off a two-RBI triple by Lindsey Ziegenhirt and a two-run homer by Jolene Henderson.
UA junior Shelby Babcock took the loss after allowing five runs on five hits while striking out six and walking four in a complete game performance.
In the first game of the double header, Arizona battled and stayed competitive with Cal before relenting to the Golden Bears’ offense in a 6-2 loss. The Bears struck first in the top of the second with a solo home run by Danielle Henderson to make it 1-0. Junior Estela Piñon kept the Wildcats competitive with Cal, holding Berkeley’s attack and retiring 10 consecutive batters after letting up the home run in the second.
“I feel like I came in strong,” Piñon said. “I felt completely in control, but at the same time, I let up the small hits that resulted in the loss.”
The Cats retaliated in the bottom of the fourth and tied it up 1-1 after junior Kelsey Rodriguez smacked an RBI double to right-center, scoring senior Brigette Del Ponte.
The Bears answered right back in the top of the fifth with a home run by Victoria Jones to lift Cal to a 2-1 lead. Berkeley tacked on another three runs in the top of the fifth to lead 5-1 after back-to-back home runs.
The Wildcats did not go down quietly, as Rodriguez continued to produce, hitting her third home run of the season as Arizona inched closer and trailed 5-2 after six innings.
“We need to get more runs across,” Rodriguez said. “Tomorrow we are going to come out ready and swinging.”
Cal extended its lead in the seventh to 6-2 by cashing in on a two-base error.
Rodriguez, Wilson and freshman Mandie Perez each compiled two hits in the defeat.
Piñon took the loss and pitched a complete game. She allowed six runs (five earned) on 10 hits while striking out four.
“It’s all up to each individual to come out, put on a uniform and wipe the slate clean,” Candrea said. “We just have to find a way to eliminate mistakes.”