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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball concludes fall with doubleheader against Phoenix College

Arizona softball will close out its fall schedule with a doubleheader Wednesday night against Phoenix College. The doubleheader will be played in a one-game, 10-inning format beginning at 5 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Phoenix College could give the Wildcats their toughest test of the fall. Though they compete at the junior college level, the Bears are coming off a 53-12 season that ended with a regional championship and an appearance in the NJCAA Division II Championships.

The Bears have won nine NJCAA National Championships, which includes eight since 2000.

Arizona will be more than ready to face Phoenix College, as the Wildcats were near perfect throughout October. The team has dominated the fall, outscoring its opponents 92-9 through six games, including two games with at least 20 runs.

The Wildcats have posted a robust .514 batting average in the fall to go along with 16 home runs.

Arizona pitchers have combined for a 0.38 ERA and have surrendered just 20 hits through 37 innings. Redshirt juniors Danielle O’Toole and Nancy Bowling combined for a no-hitter to open the Arizona Fall Invitational, as the duo has done most of the work in the circle combining for four of the six Wildcat victories.

The O’Toole and Bowling combo has emerged as Arizona’s go-to hurling option early in the season.

Bowling missed most of last season and had to take a medical redshirt, but has looked fully healthy this fall. O’Toole is one of the team’s most seasoned pitchers and should be a reliable starter for the season.

The Wildcats also have a new weapon in the circle this year with freshman Taylor McQuillin, the 2013-2014 Gatorade National Softball Player of the Year.

McQuillin was masterful in her first career start against Cypress College on Saturday. The freshman standout threw six shutout innings, recording eight strikeouts and allowing just two hits in Arizona’s 5-1 victory.

Katiyana Mauga has had a very impressive fall season, including hitting for the cycle Sunday night in a 21-0 mercy-rule victory over Pima.

The junior outfielder has crushed six home runs this fall and hit three in her first three at-bats against Eastern Arizona on Oct. 22. Mauga finished last year with second-team All-Pac-12 honors, as well as third-team National Fastpitch Coaches Assocation All-American honors.

The Wildcats will look to build off a successful fall when they open the regular season Feb. 11 against Southern Utah in the Hillenbrand Invitational.


Follow Chris Deak on Twitter.


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