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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    “Softball stumbles, but ends on high note”

    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The University of Washington Huskies softball team defeats the University of Arizona Wildcats 4-1 On April 25th in Tucson, AZ,
    Liam Foley/ Arizona Daily Wildcat The University of Washington Huskies softball team defeats the University of Arizona Wildcats 4-1 On April 25th in Tucson, AZ,

    Senior day couldn’t have ended in any other way for the No. 7 Arizona softball team. Well, it could have, but the players weren’t going to let it.

    After losing to No. 2 UCLA 2-1 Friday and 4-1 to No. 3 Washington Saturday, the Wildcats (37-11, 9-4 Pacific 10 Conference) righted the ship Sunday, drubbing the Huskies in five innings, 11-0.

    “”It was absolutely a perfect script,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”Getting a chance to get everyone in the game, put some runs on the board (and) get a win.””

    After two games in which two elite pitchers shut down Arizona’s heralded offense, the Wildcats took advantage when Washington head coach Heather Tarr opted to start pitcher Jenna Clifton instead of ace Danielle Lawrie.

    That proved to be a mistake, as Arizona jumped on Clifton, scoring five runs in the first two innings, and finished with four home runs on the day. After a five-run fourth inning that included three homers, Arizona set up a run-rule-shortened win and bumped the season home run total to 110.

    Senior Sam Banister again stole the show on her senior day as she punched in a two-run homer in the first inning, and then smacked a three-run bomb in the bottom of the fourth after outfielder Brittany Lastrapes and shortstop K’Lee Arredondo hit solo homers in the beginning of that inning.

    “”That was definitely the way to go out,”” said Banister, who was held out of Friday’s game for academic reasons and struggled in her return Saturday. “”It just goes to show that you have to learn from your past and from your past at-bats.””

    Her teammates failed to adjust to Bruin ace Megan Langenfeld and the Huskies’ Lawrie in the first two games.

    On Friday, the Wildcats caught a number of Langenfeld’s pitches but couldn’t put the ball in play.

    “”(Langenfeld was) throwing the same pitch every time, just moving it up and out a little more,”” said Arizona catcher Stacie Chambers. “”It’s just a fastball, it’s not a screwball, not a riseball. It’s there, it looks fat.””

    The Bruins (35-8, 10-4) relied on catching numerous pop flies and foul balls to get their outs and Lastrapes was the only Arizona player who found success. She had two of the Wildcats’ four hits, one of which was a solo home run that brought Arizona within one run of the Bruins.

    Arizona pitcher Sarah Akamine (17-5) took the loss but shut out the Bruins until the sixth inning. That’s when UCLA designated player Dani Yudin knocked in two runs on a single. Lastrapes answered in the bottom of the inning to cut that lead in half, but neither team scored in the seventh and UCLA left with the victory.

    “”We haven’t had a game like that in a while,”” Chambers said. “”It’s kind of good that we had that today, because games are going to be like that the rest of the weekend.””

    Whereas Arizona couldn’t connect well with Langenfeld’s pitches, they failed to even catch Lawrie’s pitches the following day against Washington (35-9, 8-6). She struck out 13 Wildcats and allowed just four hits, only giving Arizona one run off a Lastrapes RBI single that scored Jill Malina, who was pinch running for designated player Lini Koria.

    Arizona pitcher Lindsey Sisk (11-3) saw her first action since April 4 and took the loss after giving up 11 hits that yielded four scores. Candrea gave Sisk the start to rest Akamine, who has been bothered by a recurring shoulder injury.

    The Wildcats finished their Pac-10 homestand with their first in-conference shutout, but now take to the road for eight more games.

    “”This team did a good job at home (throughout the season),”” Candrea said. “”I’m a little disappointed in this weekend but in reality if you told me we would have pretty much swept everything except for Washington and UCLA at home, I would have probably been pleased.””

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