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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Softball: Win or go home for Wildcats, w/ video”

    OKLAHOMA CITY, Okla. — The Arizona Wildcats are all too familiar with the Washington Huskies. And both teams are tying to stay alive in the 2010 Women’s College World Series.

    The two Pacific 10 Conference teams will face each other for the fourth time this year, this time in an elimination game that will end the WCWS dream for one team.

    “”You’re fighting for your life at this stage,”” head coach Mike Candrea said. “”If you’re not motivated to play this game, then you’re not motivated.””

    The Wildcats (48-12) are looking to avoid brief appearances in Oklahoma City, Okla., for the third year in a row. Last year Arizona was eliminated after losses in its first two games to Florida and Alabama and in 2008, the Wildcats fell to UCLA and Alabama to end the season.

    The quick exits and two-straight run-rule defeats at the WCWS are factors that Arizona hopes will be motivation to extend its run in 2010.

    “”This is what the World Series is all about,”” Candrea said. “”When you drop the first game you kind of put yourself in a hole. It takes a pretty special group of young ladies to crawl out of it and survive it. It will be a great character tester for us.””

    The Wildcats will have to do something that has not only eluded them in games against Washington (50-8), but also in the recent history of the WCWS — score.

    “”You’ve got to get to Danielle (Lawrie). The strategy is to get to (Lawrie),”” Candrea said. “”Early, late, whenever it is, period.””

    Arizona has not scored an earned run in the WCWS since 2007, and has been shutout in games since 2008.

    Two-time national Player of the Year Danielle Lawrie (40-4), who gave up just four runs to Arizona during the regular season, will be in the circle for the Huskies. Although Lawrie allowed six runs in Washington’s 6-3 loss to Georgia in its opening round game, the British Columbia native’s ERA is just 1.11.

    The Huskies have lost two games in the NCAA tournament, falling to Oklahoma in the first game of the Seattle Super Regional in addition to falling to Georgia, but the response in game following a loss has been Washington’s forte.

    “”I know our team is not going to die down,”” said Washington head coach Heather Tarr. “”We’ve had our backs against the wall a couple times, and we’ll see what happens.””

    Washington is the first and only team to sweep the Wildcats this season, which will be the designated away team for the fourth time.

    Arizona’s objective, however, is just to stay alive in the tournament and if it means going through Washington and Lawrie, that’s what its’ objective will be.

    “”I mean we lost to them earlier this year of course if we play them again we’re going to want to beat them,”” said catcher Stacie Chambers. “”We’re going to go out there with this mentality of we’re going to win this game. We’re going to do whatever it takes to get us there.””

    The message after Arizona’s practice Friday was that although the Wildcats were in do-or-die situation, but the pressure would be on the defending national champions rather than Arizona.

    “”Obviously we’ve seen them three times, but for us we have nothing to lose. I think the pressure is on them. Everyone is watching them,”” said pitcher Kenzie Fowler. “”They’re the team to beat in this tournament and we’re just going to go out there and have fun.””


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