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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Mowatt first to win pitcher, player awards in four years”

    Claire C. Laurence/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

No. 1 softball defeated No. 10 Louisiana-Layfeyette 4-2 yesterday in Hillenbrand Stadium.
    Claire C. Laurence/ Arizona Daily Wildcat No. 1 softball defeated No. 10 Louisiana-Layfeyette 4-2 yesterday in Hillenbrand Stadium.

    After an impressive performance both on the mound and at the plate, No. 3 Arizona’s sophomore pitcher and right fielder Taryne Mowatt won the weekly Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week award for April 11 through Monday.

    Mowatt has earned Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors twice this season already, but never in her career has she won the Player of the Week award.

    “”It feels good since it’s both offense and defense, so it’s cool,”” Mowatt said. “”It’s just exciting because I wouldn’t have gotten it (if) our team didn’t win. It’s just good that our team is winning again.””

    The award marked the first time that any Pac-10 player has received both honors in a season since 2002, when former UCLA pitcher/outfielder Amanda Freed did it.

    “”I thought Saturday night was a tremendous performance,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “”On the mound she had all of her pitches working and threw a very, very good game, and then obviously to be able to chip in offensively was a big plus.””

    Mowatt was a key player in Arizona’s 3-0 victory over No. 8 ASU Saturday, pitching her first career Pac-10 shutout in the game.

    She struck out 11 Sun Devils and gave up only three hits and one walk, while pitching to only three batters over the minimum, without allowing a single batter to get past first base the entire game.

    She also went 2-for-3 at the plate, had two of Arizona’s six hits and scored two of the three runs, while hitting her second home run of the season. Over the course of the weekend, she batted .429 (3-for-7) and slugged .857, while splitting time in right field and pitching. Mowatt currently is on a team-leading and career-high six-game hitting streak.

    “”I’m just seeing the ball really well right now,”” Mowatt said. “”My timing was good last weekend, and I just connected with one.””

    Lowe back in the lineup

    While Mowatt’s achievement hasn’t been done in four years, the news with the biggest impact might be that junior All-American center fielder Caitlin Lowe has fully recovered from her injury and will be back in the lineup for this weekend’s games at No. 5 Stanford and No. 6 California.

    “”Caitlin’s back,”” Candrea said. “”We’re definitely looking forward to her being back out there in center field and batting leadoff for us.””

    Lowe made an appearance in last weekend’s series with ASU, coming in as a pinch runner in the 10th inning of Friday’s 4-2 loss, and she made her first career bench substitution in style, swiping second base.

    Lowe injured her throwing hand sliding into first base during the March 19 loss to No. 2 Texas, the same game in which senior ace Alicia Hollowell also went down. Lowe has missed 10 games since then, and the team has gone 6-4 in her absence.

    Despite the winning record, Lowe’s ability to get on base has been missed, as she’s hitting .490, which leads the whole Wildcat squad by 90 points. Even after the missing 10 games, Lowe still sits third on Arizona’s runs list, tied with 25, and her 47 hits still lead the entire team.

    Lowe will look to add to her career numbers, as her .477 career batting average currently is the highest among any Arizona softball player all-time, and her 94 stolen bases ranks fifth on the all-time list.

    Lineup changes

    Sophomore right fielder Adrienne Acton, who took Lowe’s spot in center field for the past 10 games, will shift back to her natural position upon her return.

    Acton also hit in Lowe’s typical leadoff spot during Friday’s 4-2 10-inning loss at ASU, which she said was not a big change for her.

    “”My whole game plan is to put the ball on the ground and get to first,”” Acton said. “”Whether I’m batting ninth or leadoff, I have the same approach. My mindset was pretty much the same.””

    Acton went 1-for-4 in her leadoff debut before being moved to the No. 2 spot Saturday, where she went 0-for-4.

    “”As long as I’m in the lineup, I like it,”” she said. “”It doesn’t matter where I’m at because I’m hitting, so that’s the main thing for me.””

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