Softball loses first Super Regionals game at Louisiana-Lafayette
Arizona lost game one of the NCAA Super Regional 5-3 at Louisiana Lafayette on Friday night. The Wildcats must win twice on Saturday to save the season.
It was too little, too late, for Arizona softball, which lost their NCAA Super Regional opener at Louisiana-Lafayette despite hitting home runs in the first and last innings.
The No. 11 seed Wildcats (44-15) lost 5-3 to the No. 6 seed Ragin’ Cajuns (48-8-1) on Friday night in Lafayette, La. Arizona must win two games on Saturday to avoid losing the best-of-three series.
While junior first baseman Hallie Wilson led off the game with a home run, Louisiana responded right away in the bottom of the first with a two-run home run. The Ragin’ Cajuns added two more in the second and another in the third to chase UA starting pitcher Estela Piñon (19-9), who took the loss.
Senior Shelby Babcock relieved Piñon and held ULL to one hit and zero runs in 3.0 innings. Piñon continued her postseason slump, allowing five earned runs on five hits in 3.0 innings.
For Louisiana, starting pitcher Christina Hamilton (28-2) dominated the Wildcats after a slow start, when the UA could not capitalize on runners at first and second with no outs after Wilson’s home run. Hamilton silenced the Wildcats until the seventh inning, when junior short stop Kellie Fox hit a two-run home run to cut the Ragin’ Cajun lead to 5-3 with no outs.
Hamilton struck out the next two Wildcats and while freshman second baseman Mo Mercado hit a single, she was tagged out one batter later on a fielder’s choice to end Arizona’s threat.
Hamilton earned the complete game win with four strikeouts, four walks, seven hits and two earned runs.
Arizona was 0-for-5 with runners in scoring position and stranded 10 base runners.
Game two of the series is Saturday at noon Arizona time, followed by an “if necessary” third game right after if Arizona can even the series. The games will be broadcast on ESPNU.
If the Wildcats win the series, they will reach their 23rd Women’s College World Series, but their first since 2010.
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520