Arizona softball sweeps Stanford
The Wildcats resumed conference play this weekend with a three game sweep against Stanford University.
After a close game in game one, the Wildcats won comfortably in games two and three and kept Stanford (13-23, 0-12 Pac-12) winless in the Pac-12. The offense remained steady all weekend and the pitching was dominant once again.
Game 1 – No. 17 Arizona 5 Stanford 3
The winless Cardinal played their best game of the season in game one, but it was not enough to down the Wildcats.
Redshirt junior Danielle O’Toole was in the circle for Arizona and picked up her Pac-12 Conference leading 17th win of the season. The junior allowed two earned runs on four hits and had three strikeouts. It was her 15th complete game in 24 starts.
Arizona struck first in the bottom half of the first inning. After loading the bases with no one out, the Wildcats scored two runs on a few ground balls and led 2-0 after one. The Wildcats would add runs in the second, third, and sixth and stayed just ahead of the Cardinal throughout the game.
Mandie Perez, Ashleigh Hughes, and Mauga combined for six hits in the game and Mauga drove in her team-leading 46th RBI of the season.
Game 2 – No.17 Arizona 6 Stanford 1
The win marked a historic milestone for head coach Mike Candrea. The win was Candrea’s 1,458th of his career, passing legendary Fresno State coach Margie Wright for all-time NCAA victories. Candrea now only trails current Michigan coach Carol Hutchins by five victories.
The Wildcats wasted no time in the second game of the series and led after just one batter. Perez hit her ninth home run of the season to lead the game off and Arizona would need little more to wrap up their seventh straight series win over the Cardinal.
After the Perez homer, the offense was quiet until they plated five two-out runs in the third inning. Joelle Krist added her fourth home run of the year. Freshman Taylor McQuillin had a six run lead after three, and cruised to her eleventh win of the year.
McQuillin threw a complete game four hitter, that included nine strikeouts. The lone run came in the fifth inning when the game was already at hand. McQuillin moved back in to the top ten in Pac-12 ERA this weekend with her 2.85 clip.
Game 3 – No. 17 Arizona 8 Stanford 0 (5 innings)
Arizona wrapped up their third consecutive sweep of the Cardinal of Sunday and moved to 8-4 in Pac-12 play. The win was the Wildcat’s ninth run rule victory of the season.
O’Toole picked up win number 18 on the year and went the distance. She gave up only three hits and had three strikeouts. The junior moved her ERA back to under two and is third in the Pac-12 at 1.97.
The offense jumped on Stanford for the second straight night and scored three runs on four singles to start the game. They scored in every inning except for the third. Ashleigh Hughes extended her hitting streak to a career best nine games.
The Wildcats have now won eight in a row, their longest streak of the season.
One of biggest rivalries in college softball lands in Tucson this weekend, when the Wildcats host the UCLA Bruins. Game one is on Saturday at 2:00 p.m. and games one and two can be seen on ESPN2.