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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball hosts Mizzou

    Fresh off two mid-week exhibition wins as part of the Arizona Battle of Champions Wednesday night, No. 2 Arizona softball plays host to Missouri today through Sunday at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    The Tigers (14-6) come to Tucson riding an eight-game winning streak, but UA head coach Mike Candrea feels his team’s focus remains squarely on itself.

    “”They’re a good team but right now I’m more concerned about Arizona,”” Candrea said. “”That’s my goal; to take care of the things we do and not worry so much about the opponent. I think our opponent is ourselves.””

    The Wildcats have steadily improved since a disappointing 4-2 start and are putting up impressive numbers over a stretch that has seen them win seven of their last eight contests, including taking two of three from then-No. 2 Texas A&M Feb. 23-25.

    The pitching staff, behind ace Taryne Mowatt and freshman Sarah Akamine, has limited opponents to a .201 batting average and boasts a 1.59 ERA.

    Arizona has hit .321 as a team this season and leads the Pacific 10 Conference in stolen bases with 35.

    Center fielder Caitlin Lowe leads the team with 13 stolen bases and is second with a .467 batting average. Second baseman Chelsie Mesa is riding an 11-game hitting streak and now leads the team with a .488 average.

    “”We’re doing a great job of putting the ball in play right now,”” Lowe said.

    “”We need to keep swinging the bats,”” Mesa added. “”When we swing, we make things happen, so we need to jump on their pitches.””

    Missouri is led by senior catcher Kathy Masterson, who is hitting .390 on the year, and first baseman Amanda Renth, who his hitting .323 with three home runs and 19 RBIs.

    Arizona beat Missouri 4-0 last season. In that game, Mesa drove in shortstop Kristie Fox with a double to break the scoreless tie in the fifth inning.

    “”We just need to come out aggressive and jump on them in the first inning and not let up throughout the entire game,”” Mowatt said.

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