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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Softball drops game to UCLA, doubles up UW”

    The annual road trip from Los Angeles to Seattle can sometimes be a very daunting and tiring mission, but this year Mother Nature provided the No. 3 Arizona softball team with a helping hand.

    After getting pounded 8-2 in the first game of the weekend by No. 1 UCLA (40-5, 12-3 Pacific 10 Conference) on Friday, the Wildcats (36-9, 7-6) redeemed themselves at No. 15 Washington (30-19, 4-11) by sweeping a doubleheader yesterday, 2-0 and 10-1. Senior ace Alicia Hollowell dominated both games, including a no-hitter in the first game.

    After traveling to Seattle Friday night with games scheduled for both Saturday and yesterday, the Wildcats knew that their tired bats would have to be alive and ready for an early afternoon start. But thanks to the rainy Northwestern climate in Seattle, Saturday’s game was delayed until yesterday, forcing the doubleheader.

    On the same campus where the Arizona baseball team was cleared to play after a five-hour rain delay on Saturday, the softball umpires decided to postpone the game a day, giving the team some time off and providing the Wildcats with some much-needed rest.

    “”There is no doubt that we definitely benefited,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “”Anytime you can get an extra day after the travel from L.A. to Washington, you’re going to have a much better day to play, with a lot more rest.””

    In the first game of the twin bill, Arizona’s Hollowell dominated the Husky lineup, throwing her 17th career no-hitter, paving the way for a 2-0 Arizona win.

    Hollowell pitched to just three batters over the minimum, allowing three walks and one runner to reach base past the first inning.

    On the offensive side, sophomore catcher Callista Balko gave the Wildcats all the production they needed as she hit a pair of solo home runs in her first multi-home-run game of her career. Her two homers were also two-thirds of the team’s hits.

    “”I thought (yesterday) was a very good day,”” Candrea said. “”We finally swung the bats a little bit. Alicia threw really well, but Calli was obviously the star at the plate.

    “”The no-hitter was good,”” he said. “”She had good command. Washington is struggling a little bit, not to take anything away from her, but she handled it quite well and took control. That’s why I started her the second game.””

    In the second game of the double-header, Arizona’s bats came to life very early in the game, scoring five runs in the first two innings, as the Wildcats romped out to a 10-1 victory, nearly run-ruling the reeling Huskies.

    Candrea’s decision to stay with the hot Hollowell after her no-hitter proved wise, as she gave up only one run in another seven innings of work.

    Washington freshman pitcher Danielle Lawrie got one of four hits for the team, hitting a solo home run in the fifth inning to prevent the run rule.

    “”In the second game we jumped on them in the first inning and stayed on it,”” Candrea said. “”Hopefully it will carry over. We needed a day like today for confidence. We had a lot of good things happen.””

    Indeed several positives came out of the day, as Arizona scored more than four runs for the first time in a Pac-10 game all year.

    Junior center fielder Caitlin Lowe was the quiet leader as she went only 1-for-1 but got on base five times with four walks. The leadoff hitter did her job by starting several Arizona rallies in the victory, scoring four runs.

    “”It was good day for the Cats,”” Candrea said. “”We needed to get things going, and hopefully we can use it as a springboard for the rest of the season.””

    In Friday’s loss to UCLA, the Wildcats mustered up only three hits on offense. On the mound, Candrea called on senior pitcher Leslie Wolfe to make her second start of the year to try and quell the strong Bruin bats, which didn’t happen in the 8-2 loss.

    The Bruins showed why they are ranked No. 1, taking it to the Arizona pitcher early in the game, as Wolfe’s allowed three runs on six hits and two walks in her four innings of work.

    Sophomore pitcher Taryne Mowatt entered the game in relief and could not stop the onslaught, as she surrendered five more earned runs in her two innings of work, upping her ERA to 1.06.

    “”UCLA is a very good team,”” Candrea said. “”They are very experienced. Their first six hitters are very aggressive with a good plan. I thought Leslie did a good job, just offensively we couldn’t do much.””

    Notes

    Arizona’s two wins yesterday against the Huskies sealed a season sweep over Washington, as the Wildcats also won April 7 in Tucson, while Friday’s loss to UCLA clinched a Bruins sweep over Arizona after they took a pair April 8-9 at Hillenbrand Stadium.

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