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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Rough weekend for UA softball

    The No. 9 Arizona softball team came away with a single win in three games played during the weekend, but against two highly ranked teams in No. 3 Washington and No. 7 UCLA, the Wildcats managed to take away some positives.

    “”It’s disappointing,”” said pitcher Sarah Akamine. “”But we made some really good plays defensively. Even though our bats struggled a little bit, we improved in other parts of the game.””

    After splitting their first two games, the Wildcats (32-9, 4-2 Pacific 10 Conference) fell to a hungry Bruin team that came into the Sunday afternoon match on a four-game losing streak. Losing to Arizona 9-2 the day prior, UCLA held Arizona to one hit and won in a 3-2 decision.

    Jennifer Martinez (7-4), who gave up seven hits and three earned runs in four innings, took the loss for Arizona. But the defeat could be pinned on the Arizona bats, which couldn’t put the ball in play.

    “”I think we improved a lot this weekend,”” Akamine said, regarding the pitching staff. “”I’m actually really happy with how we all came together and backed each other up.””

    Arizona scored off a Jenae Leles solo home run in the first inning and the Wildcats added another run in the second, but was shut out thereafter.

    Up 2-0, the Wildcats relinquished the lead after Bruin Katie Shroeder earned two RBIs in the bottom of the second inning. UCLA scored its game-winning run in the next inning, when Monica Harrison singled to center and Amanda Kamekona scored from third.

    Against the No. 3 Washington Huskies on Friday, Arizona went hitless for the first time in nine years thanks to pitcher Danielle Lawrie (20-3), losing in a 6-0 shutout. An All-American, Lawrie is among the updated 25-person Player of the Year watch-list. Also appearing on that list are Arizona’s Stacie Chambers, Brittany Lastrapes and Leles.

    “”She kept throwing us a lot of screwballs and a lot of rise balls,”” said UA senior Sam Banister. “”We were caught back on our heels instead of being the ones attacking her.””

    Washington dropped in one run during the first and third innings, and Arizona remained in reach for most of the game. That’s when Washington opened up the game in the sixth inning, as six hits methodically produced four runs to put Arizona away.

    But the Wildcats regrouped in Saturday’s match with the Bruins, and despite a tiring travel schedule, produced 11 hits and won 9-2.

    Lindsey Sisk (11-2) got off to a poor start, giving up two Bruin runs in the first inning, and was replaced by Akamine (14-4) in the second. In the top of the third, the Wildcat offense responded quickly with a three-run Lauren Schutzler home run that scored freshmen Lini Koria and Kristen Arriola.

    Banister batted in two insurance runs during the fifth inning, and Arizona went up 5-2.

    Chambers led off the seventh inning with a home run. Then the freshman duo of Arriola and Karissa Buchanan each knocked in an RBI of her own before Schutzler did the same, making her fourth RBI, a team high.

    “”It takes the pressure off the top of the lineup,”” Banister said of the production from the bottom of the lineup. “”To be able to get on base and get things done is huge. It gives everyone else in the dugout and on the field a lot more confidence.””

    UA head coach Mike Candrea said about the tough weekend: “”You’d think after a 9-2 win, (the players) would be fired up and want a sweep. It’s disappointing, but we can’t worry about it too much with ASU up.””

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