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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball to face Canada

    Arizona first baseman Sam Banister corrals the ball for an out in the 16-0 loss against the U.S. Olympic team at Hillenbrand Stadium Feb. 19. Banister and the rest of the Wildcats face off against the Canadian Olympic team in a doubleheader today starting at 4 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.
    Arizona first baseman Sam Banister corrals the ball for an out in the 16-0 loss against the U.S. Olympic team at Hillenbrand Stadium Feb. 19. Banister and the rest of the Wildcats face off against the Canadian Olympic team in a doubleheader today starting at 4 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    The No. 10 Arizona softball team understands what squaring off against an Olympic squad entails. All it has to do is look back to its 16-0 blowout loss to the U.S. Olympic team last Tuesday.

    Needless to say, it’s not easy.

    It looks like the Wildcats will never have to face Team USA again, although their stints against Olympic teams are far from over.

    Arizona welcomes the Canadian National Team for an exhibition doubleheader this afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium, starting at 4.

    “”I think the (game against Team USA last week) was a boost for us because I thought we did really well,”” said ace pitcher Taryne Mowatt. “”I thought we had a much better first inning than they did. Any time you can do well against the best team in the world it is going to do well for your confidence.

    “”We want to win (against Team Canada),”” Mowatt added. “”I think we can do it. We have some stuff on them and hopefully we can beat them.””

    Team Canada may not be the same caliber as the U.S. Olympic team, but it will still pose many of the same threats.

    Team Canada has won all of its seven games in preparation for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing with victories over No. 25 Washington, Texas Tech, University of Texas at El Paso and Wisconsin.

    “”They are an awfully good ball club, but we are just going to approach this game like we would any other game,”” said UA interim head coach Larry Ray. “”They are probably one of the top four teams in the world and we are expecting a really good game.””

    This time around, the Wildcats may be in a better place than they were heading into their match with Team USA. Arizona dropped three of its first five games in the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe – a tournament that ended just two days before the competition against the U.S. National Team.

    This week, Arizona is coming off of four victories in five games in last weekend’s Palm Springs Classic in Cathedral City, Calif., including wins over then-No. 10 Baylor and then-No. 6 LSU.

    Both Mowatt and freshman Lindsey Sisk are finding their grooves in the pitcher’s circle, as both won two games in the Palm Springs Classic.

    Sisk has won three of her first four games at the collegiate level while boasting a sub-1.00 ERA.

    Still, it is Mowatt (2-3) who is probable to get the first start and Sisk will most likely see action in the second exhibition game against Team Canada. Despite getting shelled for 10 runs against Team USA, Sisk is looking forward to the opportunity to redeem herself against Team Canada.

    “”You better place the ball where it should be placed, or it’s gone,”” Sisk said of playing against Olympic teams. “”They are great hitters, no matter what team it is, and we just can’t take them lightly.””

    But when all is said and done, Ray looks at the game for what it is: an exhibition game. It’s a chance to further evaluate his team and prepare them for Division I competition.

    “”Winning is not the topic of my mind right now, I just want to make sure I get some players the opportunity to get some quality at bats and see how some players react to certain situations,”” Ray said. “”I am going to approach it by trying to put up at least one run per inning and put people in those certain situations.””

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