Arizona softball swept by UCLA, have now lost six in a row

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat Along with their fellow teammates, Jenna Kean (44) and Dejah Mulipola (8) watch Utah warm up before their first match against Arizona on Friday, March 16.

Trying to avoid being swept by No. 4 UCLA, Arizona softball was once again haunted by missed opportunities. As a result the Bruins came away with a 10-3 win in Tucson and the Wildcats were swept on their home turf. 

Arizona now drops to 6-9 in conference play and are on a six-game losing streak. 

In the bottom of the third, trailing 6-3, the Wildcats had a prime scoring chance. The bases were loaded, there were no outs, and sophomore Jessie Harper, hitting .346 on the season, entered the batter’s box.

Harper would swing and miss on three straight pitches. The next batter for the ‘Cats, sophomore Malia Martinez, grounded into a double play, thwarting any chance at run support for the Wildcats.

The Bruins would go on to add four more runs, defeating Arizona 10-3 and sweeping the series. The loss marks six straight for the Wildcats, who are skidding in the wrong direction.

“When you’re playing the Washingtons, the Oregons, the UCLAs, you’re gonna have to be on your 'A' game,” head coach Mike Candrea said after the game. “Right now we’re trying to compete with about our C game and it’s just not working.”

Junior Taylor McQuillin got the start for the ‘Cats, but her day didn’t last very long. In two innings pitched, McQuillin let up six runs on five hits, including a two-run home run from Bruin DP Rachel Garcia, which was Garcia’s third homer off of McQuillin on the weekend.

On came sophomore Alyssa Denham, who also struggled trying to control the Bruins’ bats. She went four and one third innings, allowing four runs on five hits. Redshirt junior Gina Snyder came in to relieve Denham with two outs to go in the top of the seventh.

Early on, the Wildcat’s offense had an answer for the Bruins’ offensive attack. Senior Ashleigh Hughes led off the bottom of the first with a solo home run. Then, in the bottom of the second, freshman Ivy Davis hit the first homer of her career, a two run shot into left.

After that, the ‘Cats offense was stymied by UCLA pitcher Rachel Garcia, who, in relief of starting pitcher Selina Ta’amilo, went four and a third innings, striking out nine and allowing only two hits.

“[Garcia] is very aggressive and competitive, so she knows her batters and she knows what she is facing,” Ivy Davis said. “Even when we made adjustments, she adjusted as well.”

Coach Candrea said that there aren’t many positives in terms of the position his team is at right now.

“We’re not in a good place right now,” Candrea said. “The only thing I can say on a positive note is that we have games left to play, and hopefully we’ll find a way to get it turned around.”

The Wildcats will look to right the ship on Wednesday, April 18th when they host New Mexico State for a doubleheader. The first game is at 4 p.m.


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