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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


UA takes two from Cal

 It was a tale of three games for the Arizona softball team as it took two games from California this weekend.

“”I have no complaints about anything, except about the way we played (Sunday),”” said head coach Mike Candrea.

Each game threw different curve balls at the No. 3 Wildcats, who easily took Game 1, navigated through a pitchers’ duel in the second meeting and were plagued by errors in the rubber match.

The Wildcats (40-8, 10-5 Pacific 10 Conference) run-ruled the No. 16 Golden Bears (36-15, 6-9) in Game 1, defeated Cal 4-2 in nine innings in Game 2, and dropped Game 3 8-0 in six innings. 

“”Overall it was, I think, a good weekend,”” Candrea said. “”Not a great weekend, but we came out and played well Friday and Saturday.””

The weekend was scarred Sunday, as senior pitcher Sarah Akamine dropped her third game of the season behind five Arizona errors — the most committed by the Wildcats since they made the same number on March 18, 2007, in an 11-0 loss to Oklahoma. Akamine (11-3), a freshman at the time, suffered her first collegiate loss in that game.

“”We botched a run-down, which really cost us,”” Candrea said. “”We botched a run-down which would have been the third out.””

The defense was noticeably absent in the third game of the series, as the errors contributed to six unearned runs. The 8-0 run-rule loss was only the second time Arizona has been mercied this season, the other loss coming on an 11-0 defeat at the hands of ASU in Tempe.

Arizona’s offense also sputtered in the third game, as the Wildcats only managed three hits off of Golden Bear pitcher, Valerie Arioto. Catcher Stacie Chambers knocked a single off of Arioto (18-7) and right fielder Karissa Buchanan had two singles.

“”Offensively, we weren’t real good either,”” Candrea said. “”Off speed pitch, drop ball, just ate us up. Just did not make the adjustments that we needed to.””

Game 1 saw pitcher Kenzie Fowler fan eight and limit Cal to just three hits. Fellow freshman Brigette Del Ponte lit up the scoreboard in the third inning when she jacked her fifth grand slam of the season.

The long ball would be the first for Del Ponte, who also went yard in the fifth inning with a three run shot to put the Wildcats up by the needed eight runs after five innings.

In Game 2, it was much closer between Cal and Arizona. Both teams had equal numbers of hits and near equal numbers of players left on base.

Folwer (29-5) went the distance, mowing down 11 Cal players in nine innings.

Neither team plated a run until the eighth inning, when center fielder Lauren Schutzler drove in left fielder Brittany Lastrapes to put Arizona up one in the extra frame.

The Bears would answer in the bottom half of the inning, however, as Jace Williams hit a solo shot to once again tie the game.

The bottom of the ninth gave Arizona the advantage it would need to steal one from the Bears. A Cal error also helped the Wildcats plate three runs in the Arizona half of the inning.

Although Cal would rally for one run, it wouldn’t be enough to answer Arizona a second time.

The Wildcats stay on the road next weekend as they take on No. 18 Oregon in Eugene, Ore., for the final away series of Pac-10 play.

“”It’s time to move forward and get ready for next week. Oregon is another road trip,”” Candrea said. “”It’s going to be tough but we’ve made this week and hopefully this will keep their attention throughout Tuesday and Wednesday to get ready for next week.””


Weekend Highs and Lows

• Freshman Brigette Del Ponte hit her fifth grand slam of the season on Friday as Arizona recorded an 8-0 mercy-win over California.

• Pitcher Kenzie Fowler added 19 strikeouts this weekend to bring her season total to 253.

• Second baseman Kristen Arriola had three errors in Sunday’s Game 3 loss to the Golden Bears. Shortstop K’Lee Arredondo and Del Ponte also contributed to Arizona’s team total five errors.

• The Game 3 loss ended the Wildcats’ eight-game winning streak. However, Arizona still has a three-series winning streak over Pacific-10 Conference opponents.

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