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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    No. 1 Cats open Pac-10 play with Oregon split

    softball recap

    The No. 1 Arizona softball team started conference play this weekend in Oregon, but thanks to rainfall yesterday in Eugene, the Wildcats were only able to play two games, beating Oregon Saturday after falling to No. 7 Oregon State Friday.

    The winner of the last two weeks’ Pacific 10 Conference Pitcher of the Week, sophomore pitcher Taryne Mowatt (15-3), started Friday’s game for Arizona (30-4, 1-1 Pac-10). She suffered the loss in Oregon State’s (28-2, 2-0) 2-1 victory.

    Mowatt had the daunting task of matching up against the Beavers’ All-American pitcher Brianne McGowan (16-1). Each pitcher threw a complete game for her side, and only three runs were allowed on 13 hits for both teams in the pitcher’s duel.

    “”We played decent ball the first day,”” said Arizona head coach Mike Candrea. “”We just couldn’t get a timely hit. The Beavers did, but we couldn’t.””

    The loss marked the first time an Arizona softball team has lost its Pac-10 opener since 1991.

    “”I’m not disappointed in them,”” Candrea said. “”It was just an introduction to Pac-10 play for the young ones on the team.

    “”As the weeks progress, we are looking for improvement along the way. The big things right now are our aggressiveness and our energy level. I felt like our energy level was a bit down this weekend.””

    The Wildcats made the road trip from Corvallis to Eugene for two games against the Ducks, but only the Saturday game was played.

    Oregon has gotten into a lot of trouble with its pitching staff, dropping out of a recent tournament due to a lack of pitchers, and that weakness showed in Saturday’s game, as Arizona romped to a 4-1 victory.

    Every batter in the Wildcat lineup got a hit off the two Ducks pitchers, sophomore Alicia Cook and freshman Melissa Rice. The team had 11 hits total, and leading the charge was last week’s Pac-10 Player of the Week, junior second baseman Chelsie Mesa, who went 2-for-4 with a double and two RBIs in the game.

    “”In the Oregon game, we got some timely hits and swung the bats fairly well,”” Candrea said. “”But we also gave away a lot of at-bats.””

    Senior ace Alicia Hollowell (15-1) returned after being injured the last two weeks and pitched in her usual dominant fashion, tossing a complete game while allowing five hits and striking out 11.

    “”It was good to get Alicia back on the mound,”” Candrea said. “”She showed no signs of fatigue from her injury. Before the game I asked her if she was ready, and she was. She didn’t miss a beat, and she got stronger as the game went on.””

    Candrea said he was especially proud of Hollowell for the way she handled herself on the mound after she had not pitched in a game in weeks.

    “”Overall I was very pleased with her performance,”” Candrea said. “”It was very tough weather conditions. There were only three innings of dryness, then things got wet and cold, and they had to play in it.””

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