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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    UA Softball: Cats travel to Bay Area for 3 games

    Ari Lerner/ Arizona Daily Wildcat
    Ari Lerner/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

    The No. 3 Arizona softball team started its eight-game road trip last weekend with a series split against No. 8 ASU and will continue its Pacific 10 Conference trek in the Bay Area against a couple top-10 teams.

    Tonight the Wildcats (32-7, 3-4 Pac-10) open the weekend at No. 5 Stanford (31-8, 5-4) at 7 p.m. in a game to be shown tape-delayed at 1 p.m. Sunday on FSN. Then the Wildcats will play a two-game set with No. 6 California (36-6, 5-3) tomorrow and Sunday, with both games starting at 1 p.m.

    Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said that two weeks ago, after a painful 8-3 loss to No. 1 UCLA at home, the team was at a crossroads and had to pick which path they were going to take. After a heartbreaking 4-2 extra-inning loss last weekend at ASU, the team finally broke through Saturday and apparently chose the winning path.

    “”I thought Saturday we finally played the game with some emotion,”” Candrea said. “”It was probably the first time I have seen the entire bench out on the rail the whole night, and I thought we finally competed hard, and hopefully that will carry over.””

    The Wildcats will have to be at their best tonight at Stanford, as the Cardinal are 19-1 at home this year and are coming off a weekend in which they won a series over California. The Cardinal lost the first game, then followed with a double-header sweep on Saturday.

    Stanford has a well-balanced offensive attack led by All-American senior center fielder Catalina Morris, who leads the team with a .400 batting average and adds six home runs and 28 RBIs to the mix.

    Another player with whom Arizona pitchers have to be cautious is freshman infielder Maddy Coon. She has nine home runs and leads the team with 32 RBIs.

    “”Stanford is a well-balanced team,”” Candrea said. “”They’ve got good pitching and good defense, as well as hitting the ball well, and Cal is the same. It’s going to be a typical Pac-10 weekend.””

    The Golden Bears pack a similar offensive

    Obviously, it will be a big series. From here on out, every game is. We need the victories, and we hope to get as many wins as we can.

    – Mike Candrea,
    head coach

    punch to the Cardinal, but California might have a more potent lineup with senior catcher Haley Woods hitting .341 and bombing 12 home runs with 44 RBIs, both good for second in the conference. California also has senior right-handed pitcher Kristina Thorson (26-4), who has posted a 0.83 ERA in 184 innings of work.

    “”Those are two good teams,”” Candrea said. “”Obviously, it will be a big series. From here on out, every game is. We need the victories, and we hope to get as many wins as we can.””

    Lowe to return, Mowatt to pull more double-duty

    The Wildcats received some particularly good news when they learned this week that junior All-American center fielder Caitlin Lowe has fully recovered from her injury and is expected to start all three games batting leadoff and playing center field.

    Lowe, who has missed the past 10 games, has been missed in the lineup, as the team went 6-4 in her absence.

    Lowe’s temporary replacement in the field was sophomore right fielder Adrienne Acton, who shifted to center. Acton also batted leadoff for a game last weekend in Lowe’s normal spot.

    With Lowe coming back to center and Acton shifting back to right,

    sophomore pitcher Taryne Mowatt, who played right field for several games, might move to first base, where she has played in practice. She also might start in the designated player’s role, with freshman first baseman Laine Roth playing her natural position.

    With freshman first baseman Sam Banister out of the lineup with a rib injury, the move to play Mowatt on the days she does not pitch appears likely.

    While Acton enjoyed hitting in the top spot, she said she realizes that with the elite leadoff hitter Lowe coming back to the lineup, she won’t be hitting that high in the order for a while.

    “”I’m almost 100 percent sure that it will go back to Cate, Autumn (Champion), and then I’ll go to ninth again,”” Acton said. “”And I think that works better anyways because a lot of the times we’ll come in and I’ll have to lead off a new inning anyways.

    “”It’s just good to have me, Caitlin and Autumn for three of us in a row there, because it gives us a lot of speed.””

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