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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball sees mixed results in Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic

Arizona+outfielder+Mandie+Perez+%2855%29+swings+for+the+ball+during+the+Hillenbrand+Invitational+on+Sunday%2C+Feb+14.+Arizona+defeated+Santa+Barbara+11-6.
Victoria Periera
Arizona outfielder Mandie Perez (55) swings for the ball during the Hillenbrand Invitational on Sunday, Feb 14. Arizona defeated Santa Barbara 11-6.

The second tournament of the season featured matchups with three ranked opponents for Arizona softball. The team was in Palm Springs, Calif., for the Mary Nutter Classic, which featured 19 teams from around the country. The tournament opened Friday night, followed by two doubleheaders on Saturday and Sunday.

GAME 1 – No. 4 LSU 0, No. 9 Arizona 3

The Wildcats started the tournament with their most anticipated matchup of the weekend when they faced the fourth-ranked Tigers. Danielle O’Toole was in the circle for the Wildcats and was nearly unhittable.

O’Toole shut out LSU, tossing a complete game three-hit shutout. She allowed only five base runners throughout the entire game and added eight strikeouts.

The Wildcats did not break through until the fifth inning when Hillary Edior lead the inning off with a single and Nancy Bowling reached base on an error after trying to bunt Edior over. Mandie Perez singled through the left side and the Wildcats lead the rest of the way.

GAME 2 – Central Michigan 4, No. 9 Arizona 1

Mo Mercado and Eva Watson, the only players who recorded hits in the game for the Wildcats, each had two hits. Watson reached second base on an error in the first and Mercado singled up the middle giving Arizona the early lead.

Taylor McQuillin started for the Wildcats, giving up four runs on 10 hits to the Chippewas. McQuillin lasted five innings and suffered the first loss of her Arizona career. Nancy Bowling came in for a relief appearance and retired all three batters she faced.

GAME 3 – No. 15 UCF 4, No. 9 Arizona 19

The Arizona bats exploded in game three of the Mary Nutter Classic recording 19 runs on 18 hits. The team faced UCF starter Shelby Turnier, who led the NCAA in ERA last season.

The Wildcats chased Turnier from the game after collecting eight runs off the starter; one more run than she gave up in all 12 conference games she pitched in last year.

Nancy Bowling’s four hits and four RBIs set career highs in both categories in the game. She was also one of seven Wildcats to record multiple hits in the game. Freshman Tamara Statman hit her second career home run in the game, which put the Wildcats ahead 3-1 in the second inning.

UCF tied the game at four apiece in the third, but the Wildcats took the lead back in the fourth and never trailed again.

In a wild sixth inning, which began with eight consecutive hits, the Wildcats scored 11 runs on 10 hits to take the lead 19-4.

Danielle O’Toole collected her second victory of the tournament, throwing five innings, striking out three and allowing only one earned run. Michelle Floyd pitched a scoreless sixth to seal the run-rule victory.

GAME 4 – No. 25 Texas A&M 8, No. 9 Arizona 4

The biggest highlight of the game for the Wildcats came from Katiyana Mauga, who hit her 50th career home run in a losing effort. The Wildcats had 10 hits, but also stranded 10 base runners.

O’Toole faced yet another ranked opponent in the matchup and surrendered seven runs in 2.2 innings. Nancy Bowling pitched the final 4.1, allowing only one hit—a solo homer.

Game 5 – Cal Poly 2, No. 9 Arizona 0

The Wildcats lost their second game to unranked opponent Cal Poly over the weekend, 2-0. Cal Poly starter Sierra Hyland shut out the Wildcats, striking out nine in a complete game shutout.

Michelle Floyd started the game, going three innings and allowing one earned run, and Bowling appeared in relief going the final four innings and allowed one earned run.

The Wildcats resume play this weekend in Tuscaloosa, Ala. for the Easton Bama Bash, which begins Friday at 11 a.m. against Marshall.


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