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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball’s Saturday comeback falls short

    A late-inning comeback attempt by the No. 4 Arizona softball team fell just short as the Wildcats lost 4-3 to No. 2 Texas A&M at Hillenbrand Stadium Saturday night.

    UA (10-3) pitcher Taryne Mowatt looked every bit as impressive through four innings as she did on Friday night when she held the Aggies (13-1) to one-hit in a 5-0 Arizona win. But then came the fifth inning.

    In a scoreless game Mowatt walked designated player Holly Ridley to start off the fifth inning. Right fielder Bailey Schroeder then attempted to sacrifice bunt Ridley to second but UA first baseman Sam Bannister fielded the ball and attempted to throw out Ridley at second.

    The throw was wide and pulled shortstop Kristie Fox off the bag, resulting in an error on Bannister and gave A&M runners on first and second with nobody out. Mowatt then got a strike out and a fly-out before throwing a wild pitch that allowed the runners to advance to second and third.

    A Mowatt walk then loaded the bases for A&M third baseman Jamie Hinshaw.

    Hinshaw, the Aggies’ leader in RBI, hit the Mowatt offering over the right field fence for a grand slam, giving A&M a 4-0 lead.

    “”Basically that inning comes down to a couple walks, an error and one bad pitch,”” Mowatt said. “”I went to the same pitch twice in a row and it was a good idea but I just missed my spot and the result is the grand slam.””

    Arizona responded in the bottom of the fifth with an RBI groundout by right fielder Cyndi Duran to cut the A&M lead to three. Mowatt had one-two-three top of the sixth to keep the Wildcats in the game.

    After left fielder K’Lee Arredondo and Leles both popped out in foul territory to start the bottom of the sixth inning, Fox hit a two-out double off the wall. That brought up second baseman Chelsie Mesa, Arizona’s hottest hitter, who had extended her hitting streak to 10 games with a single in the fourth inning.

    Mesa drove in Fox with a two-run home run that just cleared the left field wall, bringing the Wildcats to within one run.

    Mowatt then retired the side in order again to set up a dramatic finish.

    Catcher Callista Balko, who is tied for the team lead with four home runs, hit a moon-shot that would have tied the game had it not been 30 feet foul. She struck out on the next pitch.

    “”It was a foul ball, you can’t live off foul balls,”” Balko said.

    Bannister was then robbed of a hit on a great diving stop by A & M second baseman Joy Davis, leaving the Wildcats one out away from defeat.

    UA head coach Mike Candrea brought in freshman pitcher Sarah Akamine to pinch-hit for Duran. In an anti-climactic finish for an epic 11 pitch at-bat, Akamine popped up in the infield to end the game.

    “”It was a tough game, it’s typical softball at this level where you can’t give people anything,”” Candrea said. “”A couple walks and an error and next thing you know one mistake and you’re down 4-0.””

    “”I thought we did a good job coming back, I was proud of the group and the way the battled, but you can’t spot many people four runs and expect to come back at this level.””

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