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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats take on UCLA in 3-game series

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The Arizona softball team will travel for the last time in the regular season to face the UCLA Bruins in a three-game series this weekend.

The team narrowly avoided a sweep by No. 16 Oregon at home last week, losing the series 28-18 and winning only the third game in the eighth inning. This was the third dropped series of the season for Arizona.

The No. 13 Wildcats (32-14, 9-9 Pac-12) are still experiencing ups and downs and the outcome may depend on the opponent. Pac-12 teams have proven problematic this season for Arizona, as the team pulled just one sweep against newcomer Utah and has split wins and losses thus far in the conference, beating out Washington and Stanford along with Utah while losing to ASU, California and Oregon.

“Honestly I feel like there’s less pressure playing away for some reason, it’s weird,” said junior pitcher Kenzie Fowler. “Sometimes in Hillenbrand I think we get too amped up and we get really tense.”

Between conference games, a different powerhouse team seems to show up, with sweeps against San Diego State and New Mexico. The two-game series provided confidence boosts during conference play, yet were not fully effective as the Wildcats fell to three teams. Luckily, Arizona shows flashes of perfect plays where it’s prevented sweeps from any of its opponents.

“Any given game when one thing can totally change the game for you and then everybody gets on a role,” freshman Hallie Wilson said. “So I think we’re just waiting for that one moment where it’s not just glimpses.”

Now in the final stretch, the team takes on the No. 17 Bruins whose conference record of 9-9 puts them neck-and-neck with Arizona.

“We just need to play like we have before where we were kind of loose and sort of the underdog, that way we don’t put so much pressure on ourselves,” Fowler said. “Instead of forcing things to happen just kind of let them happen.”

Arizona and UCLA face off at 7 p.m. on Friday, 6 p.m. Saturday and noon Sunday.

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