Arizona softball drops close affair vs UCLA

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Madeleine Viceconte | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's Malia Martinez (17), infielder, hits the ball while up to bat during the Arizona-Utah game on Saturday, March 17 at Hillenbrand Stadium in Tucson, Ariz.

In a battle of two top 12 teams, No. 12 Arizona softball lost to No. 4 UCLA, 7-6, in seven innings on April 13 to kick-off game one of a three-game series . 

Junior Taylor McQuillin got the start on the mound for the ‘Cats, and went the whole game, striking out eight, while allowing nine hits, three of which were home runs.

After retiring her first three batters, McQuillin was taken deep by UCLA designated player Rachel Garcia to lead off the second inning.

In the bottom of the second, the Wildcats got McQuillin some run support. Redshirt senior Aleah Craighton hit a sac fly into right that scored sophomore Malia Martinez. Then, sophomore Dejah Mulipola scored from third on a wild pitch, putting the Wildcats up, 2-1.

In the top of the fifth, UCLA hit their second solo shot of the night, this one by infielder Madeline Jelenicki, evening the score at two.

In the bottom of that inning, sophomore Jessie Harper hit an RBI double over the center fielder’s head that broke the tie. The next batter, Malia Martinez, hit an RBI double of her own into the gap between right and center field, scoring Harper and giving the Wildcats a 4-2 lead.

In the top of the sixth, Rachel Garcia hit her second homer of the day, this time a two run shot that tied the game once again, this time at four.

Then, in the top of the seventh, the Bruins would tack on three runs, giving UCLA a 7-4 lead.

Redshirt sophomore Alyssa Palomino hit a two-run homer in the bottom of the seventh, cutting the deficit to one, but the Wildcats were unable to pull through.

“I thought we battled, competed well offensively,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “We did everything right but win that game.”

Game two of the series will take place tomorrow, Saturday night, at 7:00 p.m. at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.


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