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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball runs off UNM three times

    After exploding for 21 runs in Saturday’s doubleheader, the No. 5 Arizona softball team found the going much tougher, at least early on, in yesterday’s series finale against New Mexico at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    The Wildcats (24-7) were held hitless through the first three innings before plating two in the bottom of the fourth and then erupting for nine runs in the sixth to end the game 11-3 via the run rule.

    The win gave Arizona a series sweep of the Lobos (7-13) in the Wildcats’ last nonconference games of the season. All three wins for Arizona came by way of the run rule.

    The Wildcats got their offense going in the sixth inning yesterday after trailing 3-2.

    Arizona brought 12 batters to the plate in the inning and turned a one-run deficit into an eight-run advantage, with the ninth and final RBI of the inning coming off the bat of third baseman Jenae Leles. Leles’s single gave the Wildcats the eight-run cushion needed for the run rule, ending the game.

    “”We came out kind of flat, but we got it going in the sixth,”” said shortstop Kristie Fox.

    Pitcher Taryne Mowatt (17-6) got the win for the Wildcats, allowing three runs while striking out 12 in a complete-game effort.

    Four UA players had multi-hit games, as the Wildcats collected 10 hits in the contest, with seven coming in the decisive sixth.

    Leles kicked off the scoring in the fourth by driving in shortstop Kristie Fox with an RBI groundout. First baseman Laine Roth followed that up with an RBI single that scored pinch-runner Jill Malina and gave the Wildcats a 2-0 lead.

    Roth, who splits time with Sam Banister at first base, was excited about doing her part to get the Wildcats’ offense going.

    “”It felt good,”” she said. “”It always feels good to come up with the big hit.””

    Roth went 2-for-3 with three RBIs and one run scored, and Fox had two RBI of her own while scoring three runs.

    Fox was the beneficiary of some good luck in the sixth inning as she hit what looked to be a routine pop fly toward foul territory. But the ball drifted behind first base, and UNM right fielder Ryanne Hodgins made an unsuccessful attempt at a diving catch as the ball dropped just into fair territory, allowing two runners to score and putting Fox on second with an RBI double.

    Fox, who leads the team with 35 RBIs, said she’ll take scoring hits however she can get them.

    “”I’ve hit some shots lately that have been caught, so I’m going to take that and run with it,”” she said.

    UA head coach Mike Candrea liked some of the things he saw yesterday, but said his team still has a lot of work to do going into Pacific 10 Conference play.

    “”We came out (yesterday) and didn’t have our heads screwed on ready to hit,”” he said. “”We need to be more consistent throughout and not have innings where we don’t score.””

    On Saturday, the Wildcats and Lobos played a doubleheader because Friday’s game was rained out.

    Mowatt started the first game and picked up the win, allowing only one hit in Arizona’s 13-0, five-inning victory.

    Three Wildcats – second baseman Chelsie Mesa, Fox and Leles – each collected three RBIs . Fox and Leles hit three-run home runs, and every Wildcat had at least one hit.

    In the nightcap, Arizona beat the Lobos 8-0 in five innings.

    Freshman pitcher Sarah Akamine (7-1), making only her fourth start in the Wildcats’ past 16 games because of a bicep injury, pitched the first complete-game shutout of her career, allowing three hits and walking only one batter.

    Mesa and Fox hit back-to-back home runs in the third inning, and Banister hit a grand slam as part of a six-run fourth that broke the game open and gave the Wildcats an 8-0 lead.

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