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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    HR ruins UA sweep

    One pitch was the difference between a good day and a bad day for UA softball pitcher Lindsey Sisk and the Wildcats yesterday in Eugene, Ore. It was the difference between a win and a loss.

    After Sisk (10-3) walked the No. 8 and No. 2 batters in the third inning, Oregon center fielder Neena Bryant came up in the No. 3 slot and took Sisk’s offering deep to left center field, giving the Ducks a 3-1 advantage.

    “”It was a screwball,”” Sisk said. “”Unfortunately that girl hit my screwball very well and I got blamed for the loss.””

    After Sisk gave up a single, UA ace Taryne Mowatt came in to pitch the rest of the game, fanning six of the 10 batters she faced to silence the Ducks’ quack.

    Jenae Leles hit a solo home run in the fifth to cut the deficit to 3-2, but it wasn’t enough as the No. 8 Wildcats (27-10, 4-2 Pacific 10 Conference) walked away from Oregon (26-16, 1-5) with the loss.

    “”In this conference, you have to take it one pitch at a time,”” said UA interim head coach Larry Ray. “”Lindsey just made a bad mistake at the wrong time. I wasn’t really as upset at the home run as I was about her walking the No. 8 hitter and then walking the No. 2 hitter to get to the kid that hit the home run.””

    The help Sisk got from Mowatt was not an uncommon exchange between the two hurlers. Sisk, a freshman from Murrieta Valley, Calif. – just 30 minutes from Mowatt’s hometown of Corona, Calif., – said she watched Mowatt last season as she led the Wildcats as a junior to their second straight Women’s College World Series title, and has gone under her wing this season.

    “”She’s helped me know what to expect about Pac-10 games and more important games,”” Sisk said. “”She talks to me and gives me good advice about batters’ tendencies.””

    Mowatt (16-7), who threw a five-hit shutout in a 6-0 win at Oregon State Friday night and a one-hitter in Arizona’s 5-1 win at Oregon on Saturday, said she’s impressed with Sisk’s performance thus far.

    “”In Pac-10 play, she’s kind of hit a rough spot but that’s to be expected,”” Mowatt said of Sisk, who’s gone 1-1 in conference play, giving up four runs on five hits over 6 2/3 innings.

    “”She’s kind of been nervous in her first two starts and I’ve kind of just told her, ‘Relax. You’ve done well against our team in scrimmages and we’re better hitters than any other team out there,'”” Mowatt added. “”I told her if she does get into trouble, I’ll be there to help her and pick up the pieces a little bit.””

    Mowatt, who has started 20 of the 26 games she’s appeared in, said there’s an obvious difference between starting and relieving, with a lot of it having to do with preparation time. But whether she’s in the circle, the dugout or the bullpen, a pitcher is always thinking about pitching, she said.

    “”You always have to think that you’re going in,”” Mowatt said.

    The Wildcats got tons of help from their offensive players throughout the weekend. Arizona put up 36 hits over the three games to pump up its team batting average to .313. But hits don’t matter if the runners don’t score. Despite having nine hits in yesterdays’ loss, Arizona stranded 10 players on base.

    “”We really had the chance to blow that game wide open,”” Ray said. “”Instead, it’ll be remembered for that pitch Lindsey threw in the third (inning).””

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