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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Mauga’s walk-off double propels softball to victory against the Longhorns

Daniyal Arshad

Arizona’s Taylor McQuillin (18) pitches during the Arizona-Texas game on Saturday, March 4.

On Friday night the No.6 ranked Arizona softball team once again rode their ace Danielle O’Toole, who tossed a complete shutout and carried the team on a second straight night where the Cats big bats were quieter than usual.

Game two between the Wildcats and Longhorns was another pitcher’s duel, but it was Arizona’s biggest bat who came through in the bottom of the seventh. Katiyana Mauga doubled home Mandie Perez to give the Wildcats’ a walk-off 2-1 victory.

The record chasing third basemen entered into the batter’s box hitless in her previous nine at bats. With two runners on in a tie game in the bottom of the 7th, the senior stepped up and did her part smacking a double between a gap in right scoring the winning run. When asked if her hitless streak was in her mind, Mauga gave an honest answer.

“If you asked me that yesterday, I would have answered yes,” Mauga said. “Last night I talked to Mo (Mercado), she showed me and told me things that really opened my eyes and to be able to come with the mindset that it’s a new game and a new day, it made an impact.”

After suffering through arm injuries the last two weeks, sophomore Taylor McQuillin appeared to be healthy and she was back in the circle on Saturday night. For McQuillin it was her first appearance since the Wildcat Invitational a couple weekends ago. She talked about the nerves she had before throwing game’s first pitch.

“It felt like I was coming back and starting the season all over again,” McQuillin said. “This is a big series for us, yesterdays game was tight so I knew todays game would be just the same. I think I definitely had some jitters after always two weeks off, which was a little nerve racking.”

The sophomore didn’t miss a beat, looking fully recovered and comfortable as she tossed a complete game, striking out seven and similar to O’Toole kept the Wildcats in the game despite the offenses struggles. Her highlight of the night came in the 4th, when Texas placed runners on the corners with only one out. McQuillin proceeded to strikeout the next two Longhorns she faced ending the inning and keeping the opposition off the board.

In the games later stages, Texas starter Paige von Sprecken was able ot get out of a bases loaded situation in the fourth inning. She heroically maneuvered through the dangerous Arizona lineup, having a personal highlight of her own when she got Dejah Mulipola to chase a pitch well out of the zone ending the inning.

Arizona left seven runners on base keeping the game within Texas’s reach. The Longhorns got on the board in the fifth when Bekah Alcozer crushed a double to center field and was later driven in by Mickenzi Krpec making the game level at one run a piece.

The only other run in the game came on Mauga’s game-winning double, but for the second straight night Arizona’s lineup was held in check.

“We couldn’t get any production offensively; their pitcher did a good job throwing our hitters off balance,” Candrea said. “I tip my hat off to Texas, they played a hell of ball game, it was a close game, a tight game, and we’re just fortunate we came out on the winning side of that one.” Candrea said.

Arizona wraps up their three-game series with the Longhorns at 12 p.m. MST on Sunday, March 5th at Hillenbrand Stadium.

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