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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Softball returns empty from Wash.

Right fielder Karissa Buchanan singles in the 7th inning.
Right fielder Karissa Buchanan singles in the 7th inning.

The word “”swept”” entered the vocabulary of Arizona softball for the first time all season when the Wildcats lost all three games on the weekend to No. 1 Washington.

In fact, the No. 2 Wildcats (32-7,2-4 Pacific 10 Conference) haven’t been swept since the 2008 season when they fell at the hands of the eventual national champions ASU.

“”It doesn’t feel good,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”We’re disappointed, but on the other hand, in this game you have to have a short-term memory. You learn from it and move forward.””

Arizona fell three times this weekend at the hands of Danielle Lawrie and the nation’s best.

“”I tip my hat off to her. It took us two-and-a-half games to start moving a ball on her,”” Candrea said. “”We just got outplayed.””

Lawrie’s (23-1) performance in the circle was flat-out dominating. The British Columbia native held the Wildcats to just 16 hits and posted double digit strikeout numbers in every game — 14, 12 and 13, respectively.

While the nation’s top-two teams would battle through the weekend, only the first game proved to be close. In Game 1 on Friday night, an unearned run proved to be the difference as Arizona fell 2-1. The Huskies (33-3, 5-1) would handle the Wildcats the rest of the weekend as Arizona lost 7-0 in Game 2 and 9-3 in Game 3.

The Wildcats were finally able to figure out Lawrie in Game 3 of the series, but were still unable to put more than three runs on the scoreboard in the game. Left fielder Brittany Lastrapes had two hits off of Lawrie in Game 3, but the Wildcats missed an opportunity late in the game to cut the deficit.

On the other side of the circle, Arizona’s freshman Kenzie Fowler was unable to match her counterpart’s performance. She fanned 13 Huskies, but was lit up for nine hits and four extra base hits in the third game of the series. Twice Fowler was chased from the circle. 

“”It’s a good experience,”” Candrea said of Fowler’s struggles against the Washington hitters. “”You’ve got to do it sometime. She did a good job the first day and then the last two times out, (we) made some mistakes that ended up costing us. It was a combination of them playing the game and executing the game and us really not doing much offensively.””

Arizona, the nation’s top offense, was able to muster just four runs in three games against Lawire, who pitched every game for the Huskies.

“”I think on this weekend, the better team won. (Washington is) definitely the number one team in the country,”” Candrea said. “”Hopefully we’ll get another shot on them down the road.””

With Pac-10 play being reorganized this year so that every team either hosts or plays at an opponent in a single series, the Wildcats won’t run into Washington unless it’s in the postseason.

“”It’s a part of playing in the Pac-10. I’ve always said it’s a very strong conference,”” Candrea said. “”Especially when you’re on the road and you’re playing a three-game series, it’s a little different.””

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