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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball looking to sweep

    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt rocks back to throw a pitch during the Wildcats 13-1 win over Oregon State at Hillenbrand Stadium April 27. Mowatt and four other Arizona seniors will close out their regular-season home careers against California on Friday and Stanford on Saturday and Sunday as part of Senior Weekend.
    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt rocks back to throw a pitch during the Wildcats’ 13-1 win over Oregon State at Hillenbrand Stadium April 27. Mowatt and four other Arizona seniors will close out their regular-season home careers against California on Friday and Stanford on Saturday and Sunday as part of Senior Weekend.

    When the Arizona softball team was given the No. 1 pre-season ranking, everyone expected it to be a sure-fire lock to host at least an NCAA Regional competition.

    Nobody expected the Wildcats would lose twice to Pacific 10 Conference cellar-dweller Oregon and need to sweep their Senior Weekend to solidify their postseason résumé.

    “”We started off rocky, we kinda went up then went down,”” said sophomore shortstop K’Lee Arredondo of the Wildcats’ season. “”It’s kinda been a rollercoaster, but I feel like it’s never been steady once. We have so much skill, we just haven’t put it together but we still have two weeks.””

    After losing to No. 4 UCLA Friday on a walk-off homerun by the Bruins, the No. 8 Wildcats swept No. 25 Washington courtesy of two gems from senior pitcher Taryne Mowatt. She two-hit the Huskies on Saturday and then threw her sixth career no-hitter Sunday.

    Mowatt, however, believes her team’s hitting was the catalyst to the wins.

    “”I think that our main thing was that when we had runners on, we cashed in on our opportunities,”” Mowatt said. “”When we had hits they were meaningful, you scored a run, moved people over, and I think we need to keep doing that.””

    Heading into the last crucial weekend of Pac-10 play, UA interim head coach Larry Ray knows his team can’t back down against California tomorrow and Stanford on Friday and Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    “”Taryne is throwing extremely well right now and that’s a good sign,”” Ray said. “”We are swinging the bats well and playing great defense and I was very pleased (with last weekend). I would have liked to (have won) all three, but two out of three against that competition is pretty good.

    “”(California) always plays us tough,”” Ray added “”It’s just one of those things. Certain teams play well against other teams and they are going to be tough on Friday and Stanford is a good ballclub and it’s going to be a good battle.””

    While many of the players are not sure about Arizona’s chances of hosting a regional, Ray is confident that Hillenbrand Stadium will see more action this year.

    “”I think we are definitely going to host the first round,”” he said. “”I think that a lot has to happen for us to be considered for a Super Regional, but I think where we stand right now and the tradition, I think a regular regional ought to be a definite.””

    As the all-time attendance approaches 500,000, the tears will be flowing on Saturday when Arizona waves goodbye to its five seniors: Mowatt, catcher Callista Balko, outfielders Adrienne Acton and Cyndi Duran and second baseman Danielle Rodriguez.

    “”The senior class is always your backbone,”” Ray said. “”Calli has been a mainstay back there, Taryne – enough has been written and said about her – she has a name by herself and the other seniors have done a great job. They’ve been role players, they’ve (been) starters and they are the type that the younger players look up to.””

    With the exception of Mowatt, who is from California, the other seniors are all from the Tucson area, which will make the festivities that much more emotional.

    “”I’m having a really emotional time right now just being done and it’s overwhelming,”” Balko said. “”Our season has been pretty rocky, so that’s been a little bit overwhelming and I’ve been so happy here. But I think that every end has a new beginning.””

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