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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Bruins shut down softball’s bats

    The No. 2 UCLA Bruins made a pit stop in Tucson on Friday night and left the No. 7 Wildcats (36-10, 8-3 Pacific 10 Conference) with a foul taste in their mouths after a 2-1 UCLA win.

    Arizona got a hold of dozens of Bruin pitcher Megan Langenfeld’s pitches but unfortunately for the Wildcats, most of those resulted in a foul ball. The only striking success found was last week’s Pacific 10 Conference Player of the Week, left fielder Brittany Lastrapes, who launched a solo home run to left field for the Wildcat’s only score.

    “”We never really got it going,”” Lastrapes said. “”It never got started for us offensively, which is strange for us.””

    The scoring for both teams was in lock down for the first five innings. Each team went scoreless in an unusual defensive battle at Hillenbrand Stadium and the teams combined to leave nine runners on base.

    But in the top of the sixth, UCLA first baseman GiOnna DiSalvatore hit a double over Arizona center fielder Lauren Schutzler’s head and a bunt single by Bruin catcher Kaila Shull put two runners on base. After an out that advanced the runners to second and third, designated player Dani Yudin hit a grounder up the middle to score two for the Bruins.

    It was the bottom of the sixth when Lastrapes responded with a lead-off home run, the 106th long ball of the season for the Wildcats.

    “”We needed to make adjustments and we didn’t,”” said losing pitcher Sarah Akamine. “”It felt a lot different (than other games). There was a lot more pressure but like coach said, we have to get used to playing this kind of game because that’s all we’re going to see from here on out.””

    Akamine (16-5) gave up nine hits in 5 2/3 innings, but was pulled for redshirt senior Jennifer Martinez shortly after the two Bruin runs.

    Arizona’s defense, though, showed positive signs that they could hang with the No. 2 team in the nation. Freshman second baseman Kristen Arriola made two tough outs in the second inning, first picking up a bobbled grounder to get an out at first and then having the instinct to field a ball tipped off Akamine’s glove and again throw out the UCLA player.

    In the fifth inning, her classmate right fielder Karissa Buchanan made a play on a deep liner that looked like it would drop, but Buchanan turned on the jets to meet the ball in right-center field for the out.

    Despite their valiant efforts on defense, the Wildcats’ offense couldn’t find rhythm or momentum against Langenfeld.

    “”I’ve got no complaints, I think we competed hard but at times we didn’t compete smart,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”We kind of hit the panic button on numerous at bats instead of keeping your head screwed on.

    “”The reality of game is that when you get in good games with good pitching, you’ve got to be able to match them pitch for pitch,”” Candrea added. “”Offensively, (Langenfeld) had our number. I can’t tell you the answer until I go back and look at the tape.””

    First baseman Laine Roth returned to the Arizona lineup after sitting out several games with a wrist injury. She replaced senior Sam Banister, who was held out after failing to meet academic responsibilities, Candrea said.

    The Wildcats will have less than 24 hours to regroup, as they face standout pitcher Danielle Lawrie – who shutout Arizona 6-0 in their game earlier this season – as she brings her No. 3 ranked Washington team to Hillenbrand Stadium tonight at 7.

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