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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball sweeps Wildcat Invitational

    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt uncorks a pitch yesterday in Arizonas 8-1 win over Texas Tech to help the Wildcats finish the Worth Wildcat Tournament a perfect 5-0. Mowatt allowed just a hit and a run in the contest after pitching the third no-hitter of her career Friday against the Red Raiders.
    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt uncorks a pitch yesterday in Arizona’s 8-1 win over Texas Tech to help the Wildcats finish the Worth Wildcat Tournament a perfect 5-0. Mowatt allowed just a hit and a run in the contest after pitching the third no-hitter of her career Friday against the Red Raiders.

    The No. 4 Arizona softball team finished its opening home stand a perfect 5-0, claiming the Worth Wildcat Invitational title by defeating Texas Tech 8-1 in yesterday’s championship game at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    The Wildcats (9-2) beat the Red Raiders (6-4) for the second time in three days behind another impressive performance by pitcher Taryne Mowatt.

    Mowatt (5-2) once again dominated the Red Raiders, giving up only one run on one hit and striking out 11 in a complete-game effort. Mowatt also no-hit the Red Raiders Friday night, bringing her record over the past two seasons against them to 4-0.

    In those games, Texas Tech has only four hits in 84 at bats for a .048 average.

    “”They’re really aggressive, so I don’t always have to go into the strike zone,”” Mowatt said. “”If I go around it, they swing a lot because they’re just really aggressive and up there hacking.””

    A first-inning three-run home run by shortstop Kristie Fox got the Wildcats on top quickly. The opposite-field shot was the senior’s team-leading fourth home run of the season.

    Fox, batting in the clean-up spot for only the fifth time in her career, also added an RBI double in the third inning.

    “”I’m going to hit wherever (UA head) coach (Mike Candrea) puts me and do my best,”” Fox said. “”I prefer to hit third, but I did a great job today in (the fourth spot), better than I’ve been hitting in the third spot, so I’m just going to keep coming in and swinging the bat.””

    Arizona knocked Texas Tech starting pitcher Ashly Jacobs out of the game in the fourth inning thanks to a big hit from left fielder K’Lee Arredondo. The freshman, who came into the weekend with only a pair of singles on the year, drove in two runs with her second double of the weekend to make it 6-1.

    Third baseman Jenae Leles brought in Arredondo with a double of her own to extend Arizona’s lead to six, essentially putting the game out of reach.

    Arredondo bounced back after a tough opening weekend in Tempe that saw her lead the team in strikeouts and bat .100 overall. She failed to register a single RBI or extra-base hit.

    But playing at Hillenbrand in front of the home crowd for the first time seemed to get her going, as she doubled her season average and drove in five runs.

    “”Up in (Tempe) I was just thinking way too much,”” Arredondo said. “”Then I came out here and Coach really came and talked to me and got my preparation for the game, and for each at bat and that really helped a lot.””

    Arredondo, a switch-hitter, collected all five RBIs batting from the right side but put down three sacrifice bunts from the left.

    Saturday, the Wildcats won a pair of games in very different fashions.

    Facing Virginia in the early game, Arizona matched its largest offensive output of the season and run-ruled the Cavaliers (5-5) 12-3 in six innings.

    Catcher Callista Balko went 2-for-2 and collected four RBIs thanks to a pair of two-run home runs. Her second homer ended the game by giving the Wildcats more than the eight runs needed to prompt the mercy rule.

    Saturday’s second game featured a dramatic comeback by Arizona, as the Wildcats trailed Middle Tennessee State 3-1 going into the sixth inning.

    The Blue Raiders (3-7) grabbed the lead by clubbing two solo home runs off UA starting pitcher Sarah Akamine and perfectly executing a suicide squeeze.

    But the Wildcats stormed back with a six-run sixth inning. Mowatt pinch, hit and drove in two go-ahead runs with a single to help Arizona take a lead 7-3. She then relieved Akamine on the mound and allowed only one hit over the final two innings while striking out six.

    The Wildcats claimed two wins Friday thanks mainly to the dynamic pitching duo of Mowatt and Akamine.

    In Friday night’s 1-0 victory over Texas Tech, in which Mowatt pitched the third no-hitter of her career, the junior struck out 14 to bounce back impressively in her first start after giving up a walk-off home run against Texas A&M Sunday.

    “”I needed that, that kind of performance, because my confidence after (A&M) was a little bit down in the dumps,”” Mowatt said.

    In the early game, Arizona had its largest crowd ever for a home opener, with 1,439 fans in attendance. The Wildcats gave their fans plenty to cheer about in a 9-1 five-inning victory over Temple.

    Akamine was solid once again, giving up one run and striking out five Owls in the first complete game of her career, albeit a short complete game.

    Arizona exploded for nine runs in the top of the fourth inning to run-rule the Owls (0-4). Six Wildcats had at least one RBI, and Leles jump-started the scoring with a towering home run that cleared the left-field bleachers.

    Overall Arizona outscored its opponents 37-8 in its five tournament games. Arizona batted .376 as a team, while Mowatt and Akamine limited opposing hitters to a .147 average.

    “”Our fans come out here and they expect us to win, and we were able to give that to them, but we also have a lot of improvements to make,”” Lowe said.

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