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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball returns to host UNM

    Ace Taryne Mowatt fires a pitch to the plate in Arizonas 6-2 win over Creighton March 6 at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats have had to rely on Mowatts arm as of late, as she started 11 of the last 14 games while freshman Sarah Akamine sits on the bench with an injury.
    Ace Taryne Mowatt fires a pitch to the plate in Arizona’s 6-2 win over Creighton March 6 at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats have had to rely on Mowatt’s arm as of late, as she started 11 of the last 14 games while freshman Sarah Akamine sits on the bench with an injury.

    The No. 5 Arizona softball team returns to the friendly confines of Hillenbrand Stadium for the first time in nine games when it hosts New Mexico in a three-game set today through Sunday.

    The Wildcats (21-7) are coming off a humiliating defeat at the hands of No. 6 Oklahoma in the championship game of the Judi Garman Classic last Sunday, when the Sooners run-ruled the Wildcats 11-0 in five innings.

    “”We just need to bounce back from that last game we had over the weekend,”” said senior center fielder

    Caitlin Lowe. “”I think we really beat ourselves most of the time.””

    The Lobos (7-10) appear to be an ideal opponent for the Wildcats to do just that, but the Wildcats said they can’t overlook any opponent, as wins are crucial with Pacific 10 Conference play beginning next weekend.

    “”We can’t play the name game with anyone. Anyone can beat you on any given day,”” shortstop Kristie Fox said. “”Our team has no room to let down (against) anybody because it’s been proven before that anybody can beat us.””

    New Mexico features three players – Amy Ray, Katie

    Gilmore and Analise Rubalcava – with at least two home runs and double-digit RBIs on the year.

    The task of shutting down the Lobos will once again fall primarily on the shoulders of ace Taryne Mowatt (15-6).

    The junior has been carrying the load since freshman pitcher Sarah Akamine suffered an injury to her bicep almost a month ago.

    “”This game starts in the circle and revolves out,”” UA head coach Mike Candrea said. “”Taryne’s done a good job and we’ve been competitive with her on the mound. But my biggest concern, obviously, is to overthrow her.””

    Akamine (6-1) has started only three of the Wildcats’ past 14 games, leaving Mowatt to pick up the slack.

    Mowatt started five of the Wildcats’ six games in the Judi Garman Classic, going 4-1, including a win over No. 7 Michigan. She was named Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week for her performance.

    “”We can’t play the name game with anyone. Anyone can beat you on any given day.””
    – Kristie Fox,
    shortstop

    But Akamine’s been helping out in other ways. She clubbed two grand slams – a UA single-game record – as the designated player in Arizona’s 9-0 win over No. 16 Louisiana-Lafayette, the first two home runs of her career.

    Candrea said Akamine would continue to see time at designated player while she recuperates from her injury.

    “”I think Sarah can be a good hitter,”” Candrea said. “”It was a pleasant surprise to see her come in, step up, and do the job.””

    Arizona begins conference play March 30 against Washington.

    “”Now is the time that our team really needs to come together and decide whether or not we’re going to take that step forward or just keep staying where we’re at,”” said UA second baseman Chelsie Mesa.

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