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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    ‘Cats lose in historic fashion

    Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt regroups as ASU second baseman Mindy Cowles rounds the bases after hitting one of the teams four home runs off Mowatt in last nights 8-1 Sun Devil win at Hillenbrand Stadium. It was ASUs first win in Tucson in 20 years.
    Arizona pitcher Taryne Mowatt regroups as ASU second baseman Mindy Cowles rounds the bases after hitting one of the team’s four home runs off Mowatt in last night’s 8-1 Sun Devil win at Hillenbrand Stadium. It was ASU’s first win in Tucson in 20 years.

    It was over almost before it began.

    A sellout crowd of 2,608 expected to see a pitchers duel, but only one pitcher was at the top of her game as the No. 1 ASU softball team beat No. 8 Arizona 8-1 at Hillenbrand Stadium last night.

    The Sun Devils (42-2, 6-0 Pacific 10 Conference) won in Tucson for the first time since 1988 as they jumped all over the Wildcats (27-11, 4-3) early on, thanks to third basemen Krista Donnenwirth’s three-run bomb to left-center field just three batters into the game.

    UA pitcher Taryne Mowatt struggled to find her control as she walked three Sun Devils and threw two wild pitches in a shaky first inning as eight ASU batters came to the plate.

    “”It was obvious Taryne didn’t have her good stuff tonight,”” said UA interim head coach Larry Ray. “”(ASU was) the better team (last night) … Anytime you get a tromping like that it’s a little tough to take, but hopefully they’ll remember that and make sure that they work so this feeling doesn’t come back again.””

    Arizona tried to claw its way back into the game after left fielder Brittany Lastrapes’ Texas leaguer dropped for a single to open the home half of the first. Two batters later, third baseman Jenae Leles got plunked by a rare mistake from ASU ace Katie Burkhart. Then second baseman Sam Bannister singled up the middle and ASU second baseman Mindy Cowles’ attempted scoop-toss to second went awry, allowing a hustling Lastrapes to score from second on the error. But that was the only offense Arizona could muster.

    Mowatt settled down slightly in the second inning but the Wildcat defense let her down when shortstop K’Lee Arredondo booted a ground ball allowing ASU left fielder Jessica Mapes to get on base to lead off the inning. Donnenwirth struck again three batters later on an RBI groundout to Mowatt and ASU’s Kristen Miller followed suit with an RBI single to left field to make the score 5-1 ASU.

    “”We’ve got to make sure that we make better adjustments,”” Ray said. “”We’ve faced (Burkhart) before and put the ball in play a little better, but she was tough (last night). I think the only one that really had any success against her was Brittany (Lastrapes).””

    Arizona’s left fielder was the lone bright spot as she collected two hits, scored Arizona’s only run and made two diving catches in the outfield.

    “”We were really pumped up coming into this game. We had confidence and we had drive,”” Lastrapes said. “”The wind was kind of taken out of our sails (after the first inning). I think once we got down we kind of let it get in our heads instead of getting it to push us.””

    The Sun Devils tacked on three more runs all via the long ball – not surprising as ASU leads the nation in that category with 67 jacks on the season. Mowatt (16-8) allowed four home runs for the first time in her career and declined to comment after the game. She pitched all seven innings as she fanned five batters, allowed 11 hits, walked five, allowed eight runs – six earned – and tossed two wild pitches in the loss. Burkhart (23-2), on the other hand, was lights out, allowing just three hits and two walks and one unearned run while striking out 13 Wildcats en route to the win.

    “”We’ll be alright. We look forward to playing them next time in Tempe,”” Ray said. “”Taryne’s a much better pitcher than that and I think they’ll see that the next time we play them.””

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