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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Wildcats drop WCWS finals opener

    Arizonas Caitlin Lowe (26) reaches for a home run ball hit by Tennessees Alexia CLay that flew over her head in the top of the second inning. The Wildcats lost game 1 of the Womens College World Series Monday night 3-0.
    Arizona’s Caitlin Lowe (26) reaches for a home run ball hit by Tennessee’s Alexia CLay that flew over her head in the top of the second inning. The Wildcats lost game 1 of the Women’s College World Series Monday night 3-0.

    OKLAHOMA CITY- It was the second time the top-seeded Arizona softball team saw Tennessee’s starting pitcher Monica Abbott this week, and once again, it was shut out.

    Arizona dropped the opening game of the Women’s College World Series to Tennessee 3-0 Monday night at Amateur Softball Association Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Okla., after getting blanked by the Lady Vols 1-0 Friday night.

    The Wildcats (48-14-1) fell back a game in the best-of-three championship series, and will need to win the remaining two games Tuesday and Wednesday nights to win their eighth national championship.

    “”It was obviously disappointing, but we have been here before and I told this team all along when we have innings left we have a chance,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “”With Abbott being a lefty throwing that hard, it is a little more difficult to make adjustments. Our kids were trying like hell to make them … That is our job, to find a way.””

    Arizona starting pitcher Taryne Mowatt – who has pitched every inning of the postseason for the Wildcats – was charged with her second loss of the postseason, both of which have come against the Lady Vols (63-6). Mowatt yielded three earned runs, the most she has given up in one game in the postseason.

    Mowatt (40-12) has now pitched 43 innings in the WCWS, having pitched six games in the previous five days.

    After one of the quickest innings in this year’s WCWS – as Abbott and Mowatt roared through the entire first frame in less than 10 minutes – Tennessee’s Alexia Clay broke the scoreless tie with two outs in the top of the second, tagging a Mowatt pitch over the left center field wall. Senior center fielder Caitlin Lowe leaped almost came down with the catch, but the ball was just out of reach, hitting the end of her glove.

    “”It hit the back of my glove,”” Lowe said. “”I thought I had it and jumped for it and I lost the ball.””

    Two innings later the Lady Vols doubled their lead to 2-0 after Shannon Doepking hit another solo home run off of Mowatt, pulling it over the left field wall.

    But Mowatt didn’t blame her self in any way. Rather, she gave credit where credit was due.

    “”I felt fine. I had a game plan, I stuck to it,”” she said. “”They got a hold of some pitches, but overall I felt fine. Overall, my pitches were working and my change-up was working.””

    But once again, Mowatt received no run support against the Big Orange, as Abbott dominated the Arizona lineup for the second time this week.

    The Wildcats were unable to get anything going, as they managed just three hits. Abbott improved her record to 50-3 after striking out eight Wildcat batters. The USA Softball National Player of the Year advanced her scoreless streak to 33 2/3 innings dating back to last weekend’s NCAA Super Regional finale versus No. 12 Hawaii.

    “”I was trying to get a good mix of pitches,”” Abbott said. “”Arizona came out swinging both days. I am sure they will come out tomorrow prepared and looking for a good pitch.””

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