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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Time for redemption

    Senior Taryne Mowatt strides toward the plate in an 8-1 loss to No. 1 ASU last Wednesday night at Hillenbrand Stadium. The No. 8 Wildcats will attempt to get revenge tonight and tomorrow
    Senior Taryne Mowatt strides toward the plate in an 8-1 loss to No. 1 ASU last Wednesday night at Hillenbrand Stadium. The No. 8 Wildcats will attempt to get revenge tonight and tomorrow

    No. 8 Arizona at No. 1 ASU

    The No. 8 Arizona softball team is just over a week removed from possibly the biggest blow to its ego in recent memory. And they have to go through it all again.

    After being routed 8-1 by No. 1 ASU last Wednesday at Hillenbrand Stadium, the Wildcats will make the trip to Tempe to face the Sun Devils in a two game series starting tonight at 7.

    “”I think it will be a huge step to let us know whether or not we can contend against a team like Arizona State,”” said interim head coach Larry Ray. “”I think we can after what we showed this last weekend.””

    If there is one particular area of concern for the Wildcats (29-12, 6-4 Pacific 10 Conference), it is the current state of standout pitcher Taryne Mowatt. The senior ace, who gave up all eight runs to the Sun Devils in the teams’ last meeting, admitted it was a loss that shook her up emotionally.

    Mowatt (17-9) recalled feeling “”lost”” in the circle for the first time since her freshman year against the Sun Devils (46-3, 8-1), but after a rough week, her outlook toward the rematch with the Sun Devils is filled with optimism.

    “”I am looking forward to winning,”” Mowatt said with a smile. “”(This start) means a little bit more to me because I really don’t like losing and when my last memory of (ASU) is a loss, of course it is going to mean a little more.

    “”I think (the loss to ASU) was definitely more of a mental thing than it is a physical thing because I have all of my pitches, they are all working,”” added Mowatt about her struggles. “”I think – and I wont go into much detail – but we will just say it is more mentally, slash emotionally, that was the problem.””

    When asked when the discomfort originated for Mowatt, she said, “”It probably started right before the game.””

    This comes from the 2007 Women’s College World Series’ Most Outstanding Player, who went 42-12 while boasting a rather impressive 1.46 ERA.

    Ray has showed some apprehension, however, in terms of Mowatt’s current situation, and he said before yesterday’s practice he was unsure of who will start in the series opener. The decision has nothing to do with Mowatt’s health, as Ray said the ace is healthy and she will most likely pitch at least one of the two games.

    Both freshman Lindsey Sisk and sophomore Sarah Akamine will draw some consideration for the start.

    “”I am not sure (if she will start tonight’s) game yet,”” Ray said of Mowatt. “”Whenever she is ready to go – we are not sure – we are going to discuss it on the bus trip up as to who is going to throw it (today), and certainly Taryne is going to be in the mix, but so will the other two.””

    If one thing is for sure, it will be ASU ace Katie Burkhart will be in the circle for the Sun Devils in the opener. Burkhart has been dominant, as she sports a 25-3 record to accompany a 0.63 ERA. Last Wednesday she gave up one run on three hits and struck out 13 in a complete game.

    Though the Wildcat hitters have gotten a good look at Burkhart, Ray doesn’t feel like it makes any difference.

    “”I don’t think (it is a benefit that some hitters have seen her a lot),”” Ray said. “”As long as she has good movement and she is getting the strike zone she is, she is going to be tough. We are just going to have to try and attack her differently than we did last.””

    Arizona shortstop K’Lee Arredondo wasn’t particularly fond of Arizona’s loss to the Sun Devils, because practically her whole family graduated from ASU.

    Arredondo, who is from Tempe, said she would love nothing more than to return the favor to ASU by beating them at its home stadium.

    “”They’re all ASU grads, every single one of them, except for one,”” Arredondo said of her family. “”So, I mean, it’s fun because they’re always going cheer for me. But you know, it’s kind of a little rivalry between me and them and however we do I can either rub it in their face or they can rub in my face.

    “”I think it’ll mean a lot because it would definitely show them that were not going to be scared of them and that we’re going to come out just as confident as they are,”” Arredondo added. “”I mean, the better team is going to win.””

    – Michael Fitzpatrick contributed reporting

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