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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Mesa helps Wildcats down Cal despite Mowatt’s struggles

    The No. 4 Arizona softball team earned its fifth consecutive victory Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium despite a performance UA head coach Mike Candrea described as “”sporadic.””

    The Pacific 10 Conference-leading Wildcats downed California 6-4 to notch its 30th win of the season although ace Taryne Mowatt uncharacteristically struggled from the pitcher’s circle.

    “”I think I had to battle a lot today both physically and mentally,”” Mowatt said after allowing four earned runs and walking five while striking out 10 batters. “”I felt like everything I was throwing they were somehow getting a piece of it.””

    After Mowatt (23-7) allowed the first two runs in the top of the third inning, second baseman Chelsie Mesa responded for the Wildcats (30-8, 6-1 Pac-10).

    Mesa, who finished the game with two doubles and three RBIs, hit a line drive into left-center field that scored Arizona’s first run.

    The double sparked the Wildcat offense as it went on to score five runs in the next two innings after being held hitless in the first two.

    “”Coach Candrea always says that hitting is contagious,”” Mesa said. “”Once you see someone getting on, after that it just fuels the fire.””

    But Cal (25-22, 2-6) wouldn’t go away.

    After Arizona extended its lead to 6-2 in the bottom of the fifth inning, the Golden Bears added two runs of their own in the top of the sixth.

    Four of the first five Cal hitters reached to begin the sixth, which posed a major threat to Mowatt.

    She allowed a bases-loaded walk to Cal’s Alex Sutton with two outs, but recomposed herself as she went on to strike out the final batter to get out of the jam.

    “”I had some walks that could have gone either way in my opinion,”” Mowatt said, “”but we got out of the inning with the lead so it was OK.””

    Candrea said that despite its poor record, “”Cal is one of those teams that comes in and plays (Arizona) hard no matter whether they are 50-0 or 0-50.””

    “”I was a little disappointed because I thought early on we came into the ballpark without a lot of energy,”” he added “”Like I told them after the game, we have to take every game like it is a big game and prepare yourself that way.

    “”If you do, good things are going to happen, and if you don’t you are going to be vulnerable.””

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