Arizona softball set to take on Texas Longhorn in three game series

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Logan Cook | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's softball team celebrates after a win against ASU on April 30, 2017.

Arizona softball will steamroll into Austin, Texas as they take on the Longhorns for the first time this season.

So far, the 'Cats are leaning heavily on the shoulder of Taylor McQuillin. The junior pitched in all five games last weekend, and gave up one earned run in 24 innings, including a complete game, one-hit shutout of the fourth ranked Oklahoma Sooners. Her workload earned her the Pac-12 pitcher of the week and the ESPNW player of the week. 

McQuillin is expected to start in the circle on both Friday and Sunday. She also could be available for use on Saturday out of the pen.

Arizona's bats also had a big tournament last week, scoring on average 7.2 runs per game, and they will need to be working at their highest level if they look to solve the Longhorns' pitcher.

Texas' pitcher Paige von Sprecken has a 1.76 ERA in 39.2 innings pitched. She leads UT in innings pitched, but still has one less start than Erica Wright, who has a 4.67 ERA. Neither are high strikeout pitchers. Von Sprecken has a 4.28 K/7 IP, and Wright has a 5.83 K/7. For reference, Alyssa Denham has a 5.54 K/7.

Texas has had a rocky start to the season, but is still very dangerous. The Longhorns enter their series with the 'Cats with a 7-8 record overall, and a 5-6 record at home. The Longhorns have played six games against top 25 teams, with a 1-5 record against those schools, which include No. 3 Oregon and No. 1 Washington.

Last season, Arizona hosted Texas for a three game series and swept. Taylor McQuillin won her start in against UT, giving up one run one a single hit, a walk, and eight strikeouts. Paige Von Sprecken also started that game, and lost on a walk-off homerun by Katiyana Mauga. She only gave up one earned run, as well.

Dejah Mulipola, in her one game against von Sprecken, was 3-4 with a run scored, accounting for nearly half of Arizona's total offense. Arizona's first game is on Friday at 4:30 p.m., followed by 11 a.m. games on Saturday and Sunday. All games will be broadcast on the Longhorn Network.


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