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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball advances to regional finals

    Although his brother’s wedding date was set for Saturday, Arizona softball head coach Mike Candrea decided to stay with his second family.

    That decision turned out to be a good one as the top-seeded Wildcats knocked off Mississippi State 8-0 in the winner’s bracket to advance to the regional title game tomorrow at 12 at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    “”This was a huge game for us,”” Candrea said. “”I thought we looked a little clueless the first couple innings at the plate, but at least we started making some adjustments.””

    The game remained scoreless until the top of the fifth inning when senior second baseman Chelsie Mesa sparked the Wildcat offense with a two-RBI triple to right field.

    The Wildcats (41-12-1) went on to score one run in the fifth and four more in the seventh to put the game out of reach.

    Mississippi State (35-26) had the go-ahead run on second base in the bottom of the fourth inning, but failed to cash in and would not gain another scoring opportunity.

    “”We just kept pushing and we didn’t let down,”” Mesa said after going 2-for-3 with three RBIs. “”Today my main focus was making contact and getting a good piece of the ball.””

    Four more Wildcats posted an RBI, including sophomore third baseman Janae Leles’ fifth RBI of the postseason and senior shortstop Kristie Fox’s third.

    Arizona starting pitcher Taryne Mowatt (33-10) got the nod once again, throwing her second consecutive complete game shutout. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 17-0 thus far in the postseason.

    Mowatt took a different approach than Friday night against Howard, taking advantage of her off-speed arsenal to keep the Bulldogs off balance. After posting an overpowering 12 strikeouts Friday, Mowatt struck out five Saturday while holding Mississippi State to four hits.

    “”I think my changeup was the key today,”” said Mowatt, who boasts a 1.65 ERA. “”It was the one pitch that was pretty consistent all game… I think my changeup kept them off balance and they just hit it into our defense.””

    On Sunday, the Wildcats will try to advance to the Super Regionals when they face the winner of Saturday night’s game between Mississippi State and Pacific at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    “”The big thing right now is we just need to come out and get the job done and finish it tomorrow,”” Candrea said.

    Extra Bases

    Mike Candrea’s brother, Nick – the head coach of Paradise Valley Community College’s Softball team – was married in Phoenix Saturday….Senior center fielder Caitlin Lowe was caught stealing for the first time this season after stealing 54 consecutive bases dating back to last season…When the opposing team commits two or more errors (the Bulldogs had four), Arizona is 18-1… Arizona now is 52-6 in postseason games played at Hillenbrand Stadium.

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