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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    “Softball takes two from Huskies, lands in WCWS finals”

    Arizonas Caitlin Lowe (26) reaches for a home run ball hit by Tennessees Alexia CLay that flew over her head in the top of the second inning. The Wildcats lost game 1 of the Womens College World Series Monday night 3-0.
    Arizona’s Caitlin Lowe (26) reaches for a home run ball hit by Tennessee’s Alexia CLay that flew over her head in the top of the second inning. The Wildcats lost game 1 of the Women’s College World Series Monday night 3-0.

    After a Friday night loss to Tennessee that moved the Arizona softball team to the loser’s bracket, the top-seeded Wildcats have advanced to the Women’s College World Series finals to face the Lady Vols once again.

    The Wildcats (48-13-1) will enter WCWS finals for the 12th time in 17 years after beating No. 6 seeded Washington twice Sunday- including an 8-1 victory in the nightcap- giving Arizona a shot at winning back-to-back NCAA championships for the third time in the program’s illustrious history.

    Arizona will face the fifth-seeded Tennessee (62-6) team it lost to just three days earlier in the championship series. The best-of-three series that will determine who will receive the 2007 title will begin June 4.

    “”It’s harder and harder to get to the College World Series and it’s even tougher to get to this game,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said in a press conference following Sunday’s contests. “”I’m just really proud of this group…I can’t be any happier right now, but we’ve got 24 hours to focus on Tennessee.””

    The Wildcats have turned to starting pitcher Taryne Mowatt to lead the way to the championship series. The Corona, Calif., native has pitched 36 innings in the WCWS, including five games in the previous four days.

    Mowatt allowed her first earned run of the WCWS in Arizona’s victory over the Huskies Sunday night, boasting an ERA of 0.19 in Oklahoma City.

    “”Even in the loss against Tennessee we were still getting good contact and we got pitches that game,”” Mowatt said in a press conference following the game. “”I thought ever since the beginning of the year that we’d be in the finals and that we’d give it everything that we have.””

    But Sunday night Mowatt got something from her team that she hadn’t seen much in the past few games: run support. The Wildcats notched eight runs, topping their WCWS-high three-run output against DePaul Saturday.

    The Wildcat offense came out firing in Sunday night’s defeat of the Huskies, posting two first-inning runs that would set the tone for the remainder of the game. Arizona notched 12 hits after only recording three Sunday morning.

    Senior second baseman Chelsie Mesa led the Wildcat offense after going 3-for-4 with 2 RBI and three runs. Sophomore third baseman Janae Leles went 2-for-2 with 4 RBI.

    “”I think it’s just a testament to the great pitchers that are here,”” senior center fielder Caitlin Lowe said in a press conference. “”We make our adjustments. We were able to do that last year and hopefully we’ll be able to bring some offense into these last two games.””

    Sunday Arizona 2, Washington 0

    Arizona defeated Washington 2-0 Sunday morning to earn a second game against the fifth-seeded Huskies.

    The game was tied at 0-0 until the bottom of the sixth inning when Arizona notched the only two runs of the game off a Sam Banister two-run double to right-center field.

    “”I hit a hard curve ball,”” Banister said in a press conference. “”I was looking to put the ball in play. I was just trying to make them work.””

    Mowatt struck out eight Washington batters while giving up only four hits en route to the complete game shutout.

    “”You have to get a key hit and play good defense and have good pitching,”” Candrea said. “”Like I told the kids, you have to take it one game at a time and fight your way back.””

    Saturday Arizona 3, DePaul 0

    Arizona defeated DePaul 3-0 in its first elimination game of the WCWS in front of a NCAA record 8,222 fans at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on Saturday to advance to the semifinal against Washington.

    Mowatt, who hadn’t allowed an earned run in 22 WCWS innings, tossed a two-hit shutout against the Blue Demons. Tied at 0-0 in the fifth inning, Lowe hit a line-drive double to left field over the head of the Kate Sheaks, plating two Arizona runs.

    Sandy Vojik ended Mowatt’s no hitter in the sixth inning with a single to right field and Sheaks followed in the seventh with a single up the middle.

    The win would match the Wildcats up with Pacific 10 Conference foe Washington for a double-header Sunday.

    Friday Tennessee 1, Arizona 0

    The Wildcats suffered its first and only loss of the postseason Friday, losing a 1-0 heartbreaker to the Lady Vols.

    Tennessee scored the game’s lone run in the bottom of the sixth inning – with runners on second and third – on a two-out error by Mesa. The junior college transfer mishandled a grounder that would have eventually retired the side, but instead allowed Lindsay Schutzler to score from third base.

    Prior to the play, Lowe gunned down Liane Horiuchi at the plate who was attempting to score from second off of a single tagged up the middle.

    Due to a lengthy rain delay, the match-up didn’t start until 11:23 p.m. CT, three hours and 23 minutes after the originally scheduled start time of 8 p.m. CT. The game ended at 1:28 a.m. CT.

    The loss moved the Wildcats to the loser’s bracket, forcing Arizona to win the remaining three games of the WCWS to advance to the finals.

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