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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    UA softball gets 2-hit by ASU

    Sophomore designated player Sam Bannister strikes out to end Arizonas 6-3 loss to ASU last night at Farrington Stadium in Tempe. The Wildcats struck out 13 times and managed just two hits, one coming from Bannister.
    Sophomore designated player Sam Bannister strikes out to end Arizona’s 6-3 loss to ASU last night at Farrington Stadium in Tempe. The Wildcats struck out 13 times and managed just two hits, one coming from Bannister.

    TEMPE – Anything you can do, I can do better. Or, at least just as good. That’s the message ASU’s ace sent to the Wildcats.

    Less than two weeks after Arizona softball pitcher Taryne Mowatt threw a complete game, two-hit shutout against ASU April 7, the Wildcats got a taste of their own medicine as Sun Devil pitcher Katie Burkhart allowed only two hits in six innings.

    The No. 4 Arizona softball team (31-9, 7-2 Pacific 10 Conference) wrapped up a season series with No. 10 ASU (40-10, 6-3) at Farrington Stadium last night, losing 6-3 in front of a record crowd of 2,087.

    “”Burkhart’s Burkhart,”” UA head coach Mike Candrea said. “”She throws well. Lefties are tough because you don’t get to see them often. And she’s tough on lefties. We were a little slow at making adjustment to her pitching.””

    After Burkhart stuck out the side and ASU scored three in the first inning, Arizona retaliated in the second.

    Janae Leles led off the inning with a walk, drawing eight pitches in the at bat. After a pop out to shortstop by catcher Callista Balko and a strikeout by Laine Roth, first baseman Sam Bannister lined a single up the middle.

    Then, switch-hitting freshman K’Lee Arredondo pulled a 1-2 pitch just over the foul pole from the left side of the plate, tying the game at 3.

    Foul play

    TEMPE – Backstops, dugouts and stands.
    Thirty-eight foul balls were hit in last night’s contest between No. 4 Arizona and No. 10 ASU, 21 by the Wildcats, 17 by the Sun Devils.
    One was launched into each of the team’s dugouts, some hit the outfield fence in foul territory, many were hit into the stands (and did not become souvenirs, as baseballs are), but most were foul bunts.
    UA head coach Mike Candrea said that if a couple more were bunted into fair territory, the outcome of the game could have been altered dramatically.
    “”If we’re not putting the ball on the ground – especially our short game people – then that defeats the purpose of our offense. When the ball is put into play, the other team has to work for an out. When you can’t do that, you’re only helping them.””

    – Lance Madden

    “”I noticed from batting lower in the batting order that she was pitching to lefties inside,”” Arredondo said. “”So I was looking in, waiting for the inside pitch and I got it. I think I’m staying on the left side for the rest of the season. It seems to be working.””

    The two hits in the inning were the only two of the game for Arizona. Not another Wildcat would reach base until the seventh inning when Roth was hit by a pitch, only to be stranded at first.

    All in all, Burkhart (22-8) struck out 13 in 109 pitches, while her counterpart, freshman Sarah Akamine, didn’t strike anyone out in 111 pitches.

    “”Every inning, Sarah was getting behind in the count and they had really good pitch counts to hit on,”” Candrea said. “”When you give people that many chances, things like that will happen.””

    Mowatt (23-7) was projected to start against Burkhart, who claimed the two losses in the series openers, but Akamine (8-2) got the nod instead.

    “”We’ve got four games this week, and obviously we’re going to need Sarah,”” Candrea said of his decision to start Akamine. “”You’re not going to develop a pitcher by sitting her butt on the bench.””

    Candrea said that he stood by his decision to leave her in the whole game, and would have brought Mowatt in only in a save opportunity.

    The Sun Devils began the game with a bitter taste in their mouths.

    Center fielder Kaitlin Cochran ripped the first hit of the game up the middle past a diving second baseman Chelsie Mesa. Two batters later, with two outs, cleanup hitter Ashley Muenz hit another shot up the middle, again, past a diving Mesa.

    “”It is frustrating when you put out all of your effort to make these plays,”” Mesa said. “”It is frustrating knowing that we’re working our butts off and we can’t catch a break.””

    With two on, the next batter, Mindy Cowles took a 2-0 offering yard, putting ASU up 3-0.

    Cowles finished 3-for-4 with three RBIs and a run scored.

    The Sun Devils tacked on two more runs in the fifth and another in the sixth for the 3-run advantage.

    “”It’s hard to defend home runs, walks or when they’re putting the ball in play, period,”” Mesa said.

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