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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball takes pivotal series at Washington

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After a convincing win on Thursday night against No. 4 Washington, the No. 16 Arizona softball team was eager to make a statement in the final two games of its series. It was only partially able to, as mistakes derailed the team in the final game on Saturday afternoon following a win earlier in the day.

The Wildcats (25-10, 4-5 Pac-12) won the series two games to one, thanks to a stout defensive discipline that limited the No. 4 Huskies to three runs in the first two games combined and just one error.

“I was very proud of this team,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “They played with a lot of fight. To walk into this place and get two out of three is good not great, but we played well enough to have some opportunities to win all three.”

All-American junior Kenzie Fowler manned the circle for the Wildcats and allowed three runs on seven hits, but Arizona was able to prevail 5-3 thanks to a strong fifth inning, in which all five Wildcat runs were scored.

“The first game was a continuation, so we all had a game plan,” senior catcher Lini Koria said. “Kenzie did a great job of executing her pitches. We were able to hold Washington.”

In the second game of the day, Arizona was able to start a 1-0 lead in the third inning before defensive lapses assisted Washington in scoring five of its seven runs on five hits all but ending the Wildcats’ chances for a sweep in Seattle.

“They were able to just put the ball in play,” Koria said. “It was a tough situation to put some runs through because there were a lot of pitch changes. They did a good job of switching out their pitchers. We just couldn’t get any timely hitting.”

Despite the loss in the final game, the Wildcats were able to notch two valuable road victories against one of the best teams in the country. Koria said wins like this will propel the team to where most people expected it to be when the season started, after finishing with an unblemished fall schedule.

“It means a lot to us,” Koria said. “Not only can we prove in our conference, but through the rankings that we can successfully get two wins. It just motivates us to want to get on a roll even more. No matter what, if they games are a win or a loss, they’re still close. We did a very good job of getting back on top.”

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