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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Softball drops two at home

    She was on fire, but her team doused the flames.

    Second baseman Chelsie Mesa collected the first four of five hits for the No. 3 Arizona softball team on Friday, as the team lost its second game in as many days after dropping a 7-4 decision to No. 14 UCLA on Thursday at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    This time they fell to Washington, 5-1. It marks the third loss in 26 home games this season, the first coming against Texas A&M on Feb. 24.

    “”We need to have nine people that want to compete and compete hard,”” UA head coach Mike Candrea said. “”We’ll try to get things turned around. If we don’t, it’s going to be a short season.””

    The only run for the Wildcats (38-12-1, 14-5-1 Pacific 10 Conference) came in the fifth inning after a Mesa home run to right field. She also singled in the seventh, tripled in the third and singled in the first, bringing her average up to .384.

    “”I came in knowing what (Washington pitcher Danielle Lawrie) threw me last time, and I wasn’t very successful,”” said Mesa, who went 0-for-3 against Lawrie in a 6-0 win in Seattle on March 30. “”She came with the same game plan and pitch sequence, so I wasn’t guessing up there.””

    With the exception of Mesa, who had her second career four-hit game and first for any Wildcat this season, Arizona – who entered the final weekend of the regular season having already clinched the Pac-10 championship – struggled against Lawrie (24-9). The only other Wildcat with success against her was shortstop Kristie Fox, who hit a single in the seventh. Lawrie lowered her ERA to 1.52 in her seven-inning effort. She struck out six and walked four and also hit her eighth home run of the season.

    Junior pitcher Taryne Mowatt (30-10) collected both losses for Arizona Thursday and Friday.

    “”Looking at Taryne’s body language when she was warming up (Friday), it just looked like she didn’t want to throw,”” Candrea said.

    Leadoff hitter Ashley Charters led off the third inning for the Huskies (35-15, 12-8) with a line drive single past a diving third baseman Jenae Leles. A sacrifice bunt moved her to second, and she scored after Mowatt walked three straight batters as part of a 4-for-4 day.

    With the bases loaded and one out, freshman Sarah Akamine replaced Mowatt in the pitcher’s circle and sat the next two batters down to get out of the jam. It was the first time this season that she was pulled mid-inning. Mowatt went 2 1/3 innings, giving up three hits, and five walks in 56 pitches, and saw her ERA go up to 1.67

    “”It’s rough to watch something like that,”” Mesa said. “”I tried to talk to her, pick her up a little bit. When you’re struggling as a pitcher, you need to be able to lean on your defense, so I let her know that we were playing for her.””

    Akamine went 4 2/3 innings, giving up three runs on five hits. She struck out three and didn’t give up a free base.

    Though Mowatt had a dismal outing, she reached a milestone.

    Mowatt struck out infielder Nicole Moojen – her third strikeout of the game and her 400th of the year. After striking out 12 Bruins on Thursday, she moved into fourth place on Arizona’s single season strikeout list.

    The Wildcats take on the Huskies again Saturday at 1 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium, their last game of the regular season.

    “”Hopefully we have nine players on the field, not eight,”” Candrea said.

    Extra Bases

    Candrea was ejected from the game in the bottom of the seventh inning Friday. With a 2-2 count, right fielder Adrienne Acton hit a grounder to third. Moojen touched the ball in fair territory before the ball went foul, but the home plate umpire Mike Hoffman called the ball foul. Candrea came out in an outrage to argue the call and was ejected from the game. Acton struck out looking two pitches later.

    “”The ball was fair, pure and simple,”” Candrea said. “”That starts a big inning. Obviously you have to argue that, and I did. There were numerous times I wanted to go out there and argue a call earlier in a game . . . but I had a good view, and the ball was in fair territory. It was uncharacteristic of me.”” …

    First baseman Laine Roth fouled an inside pitch off the bat handle and into her face in the first inning of Thursday’s game. Bleeding, Roth left the game and was replaced by Akamine.

    Roth met with a dentist and had work done on her mouth Friday. She will be ready to return wearing a facemask next week, Candrea said. …

    Former Wildcats Alicia Hollowell and Autumn Champion will graduate from Arizona on Saturday.

    Hollowell will graduate as an Interdisciplinary Studies major, while Champion has earned a degree in Elementary Education.

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