Wildcat softball looking to bounce back at home versus Cal
On Friday March 16, Wildcats Jaycee Lindley (12), Ivy Davis (14), Ashleigh Hughes (28), and Alyssa Palomino (32) watch Utah players warm up before the start of the game.
The Arizona Wildcats softball team is looking to rebound at home this week versus California after being swept last weekend by Washington in a closely fought series that featured two walk-off wins for the Huskies. UA’s incoming Pac-12 foe had a similar weekend last week against Arizona State, also getting swept.
As a result of both sweeps, the 'Cats and the Golden Bears fell two spots in the USA Today poll compared to the previous week. Arizona is ranked No. 11 in the country, while the Golden Bears clock in at No. 22. Arizona is now only the fifth highest ranked Pac-12 team.
For this weekend's series, Cal features two pitchers with similar work rates. Kamalani Dung and Zoe Conley have both thrown around one hundred innings each, with Dung throwing 99.1 and Conley throwing 111.2. Dung has a 14-1 record, with a 1.69 ERA, while holding opponents to a .163 batting average. Conley has a 10-7 record with 4 saves and has compiled a 2.26 and held opponents to a .229 BA.
Conley will most likely start games one and three for Cal, while Dung will start game two and be available in relief for the other two games, as shown in Cal’s rotation in the previous two series.
Arizona will most likely stick with its same pitching rotation for this series as they had used in their previous two Pac-12 sets, with ace Taylor McQuillin starting games one and three, and relieving game two starter Alyssa Denham after five or six innings. McQuillin was tagged with all three losses last weekend, as she pitched complete games in games one and three of the series, while giving up a walk-off in relief in game two. Her ERA is now 1.01, up from 0.75 before the UW series and is above 1.00 for the first time since throwing a complete game shut out against Oklahoma in the Marry Nutter Classic.
Cal is led offensively by leadoff hitter and shortstop Jazmyn Jackson and outfielder Mikayla Coelho. Jackson is leading the team in batting average, as she’s hitting .378, and in hits, with 42. Coelho is tied for the team lead with five home runs, and leads the Golden Bears with 26 RBIs.
As for Arizona’s offense, the ‘Cats struggled last weekend against two of the best pitchers in the nation. As a result, Arizona’s team batting average dropped to .325 from .347. Additionally, UA scored only four runs in three games. Arizona averaged 6.33 runs per game before the Washington series.
The first game of the series is on Thursday, March 29 at 6 p.m. Game two of the series is at the same time on Friday, and first pitch for game three will be at noon on Saturday. All games will be broadcast on Arizona Athletic’s live stream.
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