Ivy Davis' grand slam helps softball mercy rule Oregon State, 9-1, to sweep series

Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's Ivy Davis hits a ground ball during the Arizona- Oregon State game at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on Friday April 27 in Tucson Arizona.

The Arizona Wildcats softball team beat the Oregon State Beavers 9-1 on Sunday afternoon to complete the sweep of the Beavers on the backs of Taylor McQuillin and Ivy Davis. 

McQuillin was the winning pitcher of record, giving up five hits, one earned run, walking two and striking out eight batters in her six innings of work. Freshman Ivy Davis hit a walk-off grand slam in the bottom of the sixth to extend Arizona’s lead to eight and put the mercy rule in effect.

From the get-go, it looked like the 'Cats were going to win simply because they were making fewer errors. Oregon State’s starter Mariah Mazon walked six batters in just 3.2 innings of work, and Mazon’s replacement, Meehra Nelson, walked two in 1.2 innings. Arizona scored two runs without putting the ball in play because the Beavers walked four straight Wildcat batters in the fourth inning.

The Beavers didn’t receive any help from their defense, either. OSU’s defense made three costly errors in the game, the first of which brought in Arizona’s first run.

Arizona's Jessie Harper hits the ball to the outfield during the Arizona-Oregon State game at the Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on Sunday April 29 in Tucson Ariz.

The ‘Cats didn’t turn on the offensive firepower until late in the game. UA scored two runs in the third on an error and a sacrifice fly after Jessie Harper led the inning off with a double, and then added two more runs the following inning when the Beavers walked in a pair after four consecutive walks.

The sixth inning was when the ‘Cats really started to see the ball well at the plate. Jessie Harper led off the inning with a solo home run to Candrea’s Corner over the left field wall. Five batters later, Ivy Davis did that same exact thing, but with the bases loaded. Davis’s walk-off was the first time doing so and was also the first grand slam of the freshman’s young career.

After struggling for a few weeks, losing nine of 12 games and getting swept at home, Arizona seemingly has righted the ship, having won eight of its last nine.

“It was a good weekend, you know. I thought we came out and did some good things, especially at the plate. I thought we had really good discipline at the plate and made some good adjustments,” head coach Mike Candrea said.

Arizona's Taylor McQuillin pitches to Oregon during the Arizona-Oregon State game at the Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on Sunday, April 29 in Tucson Ariz.

One of Arizona’s constants over the recent hot streak has been its pitching. Three runs are the most Arizona has given up over the nine-game stretch.

“Just to maintain composure, get some outs, let our defense do all the work ‘cause they’ve been doing great all weekend,” McQuillin said of her mindset in the circle. 

Arizona improves to 35-13 and 11-10 in conference. The ‘Cats have now finished their home Pac-12 schedule. UA will host GCU next weekend at Hillenbrand, and then travel to Palo Alto to wrap the season up against Stanford.

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