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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball drops first two games of season

    TEMPE – When it rains, it pours.

    When the No. 1 Arizona softball team arrived in Tempe for the Kajikawa Classic Friday, it was expecting to start the defense of its back-to-back national titles against Notre Dame and Texas Tech.

    What the Wildcats got was far from the ideal situation, as both games were rained out, forcing them to open their season slate Saturday with a doubleheader against two top-10 opponents in No. 7 Northwestern and No. 3 Texas A&M.

    Maybe the top-ranked Wildcats could have used their Friday games.

    Arizona lost to Northwestern 8-5 and Texas A&M 3-2, possibly wishing they could have shaken off the rust against Notre Dame and Texas Tech, rather than jumping into play against two teams that made it to Oklahoma City a year ago.

    “”It is always tough any time you get a game rained out when you are expecting to play, especially if it is your openers,”” said UA interim head coach Larry Ray. “”Our team just has to understand that we need to be playing a lot better softball.””

    Standout pitcher Taryne Mowatt got the start in the first game against Northwestern and continued her trend of struggling early in the season, as the ace gave up eight earned runs off of 12 hits – seven of which went for extra bases. Last year Mowatt gave up two walk-off homeruns in consecutive days in the Kajikawa Classic, one coming against Texas A&M.

    Northwestern was held scoreless by Mowatt (0-1) until the third inning when it got five runs home, backed by an RBI single by Nicole Pauly, a two-RBI double by Michelle Batts, a sacrifice fly by Erin Dyer, and scored on a wild pitch from Mowatt.

    Pauly added a two-run homerun in the fourth inning to give Northwestern a 7-1 lead.

    “”It was just one of those days for Taryne. She just didn’t have it,”” Ray said. “”She had plenty of those last year. She just needs to make sure she is focused and fully ready to go because we are certainly counting on her.””

    Arizona avoided a blowout loss with a four-run rally in the seventh inning. First baseman Sam Banister added her second RBI hit of the game with a double and K’Lee Arredondo blasted a two-run homerun to bring them within three runs.

    Both Banister and Arredondo led the team in RBIs in the first contest, as both knocked in two runs.

    “”We want to start to be able to go back and do the little things,”” Ray said. “”Right now we are doing a lot of crazy things. We are taking way too many good pitches and not having good quality at-bats, and that has really come back to haunt us.””

    In the loss to the the No. 3 Aggies, the Wildcats sent out freshman Lindsey Sisk for her first career start in an effort to try and give Arizona the split.

    Though having her first career start against the Aggies was quite the undertaking, Sisk handled her early jitters and went on to pitch six innings while all of Texas A&M’s runs were unearned.

    With the game tied at one, the Aggies got a pair of runs off of an error by freshman left fielder Brittany Lastrapes.

    Texas A&M’s Macie Marrow hit a ball to left center field. Lastrapes charged the ball while calling off center fielder Adrienne Acton and proceeded to drop the ball, allowing two Aggies to score and extend their lead to 3-1.

    Arizona’s two runs came off of a Stacie Chambers homerun and a Jenae Leles RBI single.

    “”We expect a lot out of ourselves always, Arredondo said, “”but it was the first two games and we are still trying to get into the groove.””

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