Arizona Softball loses final game of non-conference play in eight inning thriller

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Jacquie Harbour/Arizona Athletics | The Daily Wildcat Arizona's Taylor McQuillin (18) pitches the ball during the game against the South Dakota State Coyotes on March 8, 2018 at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, Tucson, AZ.

In their final non-conference game of the season, Arizona Softball took on the University of Minnesota, and lost, 1-0, in an eight inning thriller.

Sophomore Alyssa Denham got the start on the mound, and found herself locked in a pitching duel with sophomore Amber Fiser of Minnesota. Denham went seven innings, allowing four hits while striking out seven. 

“I was working really low,” Denham said about how she was pitching. “I was working on getting them to chase my drop balls down, so getting ahead in the count, and then letting them get themselves out.”

The game was scoreless heading into the bottom of the seventh, when the Wildcats started to string together some hits. With one out, a wild pitch from Fiser sent redshirt freshman Carli Campbell from second to third. After an intentional walk to redshirt sophomore Alyssa Palomino put runners on first and third, a strikeout from sophomore Reyna Carranco brought sophomore Jessie Harper to the plate with two outs. Harper flew out to the shortstop, and the game was headed to extras. 

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Junior Taylor McQuillin came in to relieve in the eigth, and Minnesota got on the board after an error by Carranco. The run would prove to be the winning one, making the final score 1-0.

“The key to tonight was just our inability offensively to drive in runs when we needed to,” head coach Mike Candrea said after the game. “I mean, you don’t score runs, you’re not going to win many ball games.” 

The Wildcats wrap up their non-conference play with a 21-3 record, outscoring opponents 148-35 in those games.

Next up for Arizona, is the beginning of Pac-12 play. This weekend, the ‘Cats take on the University of Utah, with games on Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m., and on Sunday at 12 p.m.


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