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The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball sees series slip away against Utah

Courtesy+of+Kiffer+Creveling+%2F+The+Daily+Utah+ChronicleArizona+softball+utility+Hallie+Wilson+%285%29+runs+the+bases+during+Arizonas+10-7+loss+to+Utah+in+the+Dumke+Family+Stadium+in+Salt+Lake+City+on+Friday.+Wilson+and+the+Wildcats+lost+the+series+2-1+against+the+Utes.
Kiffer Creveling

Courtesy of Kiffer Creveling / The Daily Utah Chronicle

Arizona softball utility Hallie Wilson (5) runs the bases during Arizona’s 10-7 loss to Utah in the Dumke Family Stadium in Salt Lake City on Friday. Wilson and the Wildcats lost the series 2-1 against the Utes.

Arizona softball lost two out of three road games to Utah over the weekend. The series defeat moved the Wildcats to 34-12 overall and 9-6 in Pac-12 Conference play.

In game one of the series, a seven-run, fifth-inning rally gave Arizona a short-lived lead before Utah battled back to win 10-7. For much of the game, it looked like the Utes would coast to an easy victory, as the UA was held to no runs and just one hit through four innings.

Down 5-0 heading into the fifth, the Wildcats’ bats finally exploded.

Arizona utility player Hallie Wilson drove in Arizona’s first run on a Utah error, followed by an RBI single from outfielder Chelsea Suitos that made it 5-2. A two-run single from outfielder Katiyana Mauga cut the deficit to 5-4.

Then with two outs, utility player Mandie Perez knocked out a three-run home run to complete the comeback, giving the Wildcats a 7-5 lead.

In the bottom of the fifth, Utah’s Maddy Woodward responded with a two-run shot to tie the game. The next inning, the Utes took the lead on a two-run triple, which turned out to be the decisive blow.

Pitcher Michelle Floyd started the game for Arizona and allowed five earned runs over 3.2 innings pitched. Floyd was relieved by Siera Phillips, who allowed two earned runs over the next 1.1 innings. Trish Parks relieved Phillips in the sixth inning and was awarded the loss after giving three runs, two of them earned.

On Saturday, the Wildcats evened the series with an 8-6 victory, led by four home runs.

After being held scoreless through three innings, Arizona got on the board in the fourth when shortstop Kellie Fox delivered a solo shot to tie the game up at 1-1. An at-bat later, Mauga gave the Wildcats the lead with another solo homer. Mauga now has 20 home runs this year, making her the first player in program history to hit 20 in both her freshman and sophomore seasons.

With Arizona leading 3-1 heading into the bottom of the fifth, Utah answered with three runs of its own to gain back a 4-3 advantage.

However, in the sixth inning, the Wildcats broke things open with a five-run rally, bolstered by a two-run home run from catcher Chelsea Goodacre and a two-run double by utility player Lauren Young.

Once again, all three Arizona pitchers took the mound, and this time, Parks earned the win, her 13th of the season.

In the series rubber match, the UA recorded just three hits in a 4-2 loss.

The Wildcats opened the game with an encouraging start when Goodacre drove in two runs on a first-inning double. The 2-0 Arizona lead didn’t last long, though, as the Utes responded in the bottom of the first with a pair of runs to tie things up. Then in the third inning, Utah gained the lead on an RBI double and added another run in
the fourth.

Utah’s pitching staff held the Wildcats’ lineup silent over the final sixth inning. Arizona’s three hits tied for a season low.

On the mound, Parks got the start for Arizona but only recorded one out before she was replaced by Floyd. Floyd gave up two earned runs over 3.2 innings and recorded the loss. Phillips relieved Floyd in the fifth and pitched a scoreless two innings.

The Wildcats now return home where they will face Stanford this weekend.

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Follow Ezra Amacher on Twitter.

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