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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Cats dominate home tournament

    Claire C. Laurence/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Senior pitcher Alecia Hollowell delivers a ball to home plate as No. 1 softball defeated guest Longbeach 11-0 in five innings on Sunday in Hillenbrand Stadium.
    Claire C. Laurence/ Arizona Daily Wildcat Senior pitcher Alecia Hollowell delivers a ball to home plate as No. 1 softball defeated guest Longbeach 11-0 in five innings on Sunday in Hillenbrand Stadium.

    Softball Weekend Roundup

    The No. 1 Arizona softball team showed the softball world this weekend that its ranking fits like a well-oiled glove.

    After the Wildcats won five games in three days at their own Hillenbrand Invitational by a combined score of 50-1, their opponents might start to plead no contest.

    The eventful weekend for the Wildcats (20-1) featured five mercy rules, 55 total hits, a team .444 batting average, a whopping 11 home runs and 98 total bases. Arizona’s combined on-base percentage for the five games was a monstrous 1.307. Their opponents’ was just .219.

    “”We had a great offensive performance,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “”Our bats were unleashed. We had good pitching, but still had a little shoddy defense, which we still have to get better at, but overall offensively, I thought we looked really good, and got some key hits and put a lot of runs on the board, and that’s nice for a pitcher.””

    The Arizona pitching staff also had a very easy weekend containing the opposing lineups, with senior pitcher Alicia Hollowell (11-0) going 3-0 with three complete games and a no-hitter in Friday’s 10-0 win over Long Beach State (10-9). It was Hollowell’s third complete game of the year, and the 16th of her career.

    Sophomore pitcher Taryne Mowatt (9-1) pitched two complete games shutouts in her two victories, Mowatt’s third and fourth shutouts of the season.

    The two pitchers’ combined ERA was 0.26, with Hollowell giving up the only run in Saturday’s 11-1 victory over Wichita State (11-8) on a home run to senior catcher Julie Darling.

    The duo gave up only seven hits in the five games, holding their opponents to a .078 batting average. They averaged over 10 strikeouts per game, with Mowatt getting 18 strikeouts in 10 innings of work and Hollowell having 33 strikeouts in 17 innings.

    “”It was amazing to once again have 11 runs on the board for me,”” Hollowell said. “”It’s so nice to go out there and know that it doesn’t really matter that giving up one run really doesn’t make a difference.””

    The three-time All-American Hollowell has now won 123 games in her career, which places her second all-time in Arizona history, one behind current assistant coach Nancy Evans (124). Hollowell already holds the all-time records for strikeouts (1,486) and innings pitched (347), as well as three best strikeout seasons and three of the top four spots for innings pitched in a season.

    In Sunday’s championship game against Long Beach State, Arizona did not score until the third inning when a scoring rampage that included a three-run homer from sophomore catcher Callista Balko catapulted the Wildcats to a 7-0 lead.

    The fourth inning was more of the same for the Arizona bats. Sophomore right fielder Adrienne Acton led off the inning with a single, and center fielder Caitlin Lowe followed on the next pitch with an RBI triple.

    The hit equaled one more triple (six) than all of 2005 for the team. Junior second baseman Chelsea Mesa also added a two-run home run in the inning, as the Wildcats won in a rout, 11-0.

    “”We had some stability from the players that you’d expect, and then throughout our order we started getting some good at-bats from the lower part of our lineup,”” Candrea said.

    “”When I can get the bottom four hitters in the lineup to be that productive, we are a very strong team offensively.””

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