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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball extends Pac-12 losing streak after being swept by UCLA

Arizona+softball+teams+Blaise+Biringer+plays+third+base+in+a+game+against+UCLA+on+April+14+at+Rita+Hillenbrand+Memorial+Stadium.+The+Wildcats+lost+the+game+8-0.
Amelia McAnear

Arizona softball team’s Blaise Biringer plays third base in a game against UCLA on April 14 at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats lost the game 8-0.

The Arizona softball team faced their fifth Pac-12 opponent over the weekend. No. 2 UCLA came to Tucson to take on the Wildcats for a three-game series starting on Friday, April 14 and ending on Sunday, April 16. Arizona looked to snap their seven-game losing streak in the Pac-12.

Game 1

On day one of the three-day series, Arizona started Aissa Silva in the pitcher’s circle. She faced UCLA’s star pitcher Megan Faraimo who had a personal record of 19-2 on the season coming into the game.

After a quick first inning for both teams, UCLA jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the top of the second after Kennedy Powell hit a 3-run home run to center field.

 

After a short bottom of the second for the Wildcat offense, UCLA again homered to center, this time from Maya Brady, for 2 more runs to extend the lead to 5-0. After the second of three home runs for UCLA, Silva was relieved by Ali Blanchard.

The Wildcats had no answer for the expert pitching of Faraimo, who was replaced by UCLA’s reliever Lauren Shaw to end the game. The Wildcats gave up 3 more runs between the fifth and seventh innings to lose the first game to UCLA 8-0.

Arizona softball head coach Caitlin Lowe said after the game, the reason the team started Silva over Devyn Netz, who has started more than half the team’s games, is because they liked how Silva looked in practice that week and they liked how she had performed against No. 7-ranked Stanford University the weekend before.

Game 2

After getting shut out in game one of the series, Arizona sent Netz out to the circle as the starting pitcher. She faced UCLA’s Brooke Yanez.

With another quick first inning, the Wildcats struck first in the bottom of the second inning when Sophia Carroll hit a 2-run home run to left center field. Arizona went on to drive in 2 more runs in the inning off of singles by Allie Skaggs and Netz. UCLA responded with a run of their own after a pair of hits got runners on base.

 

UCLA then came back in the top of the fifth inning and got a 2-run homer to right field, diminishing the Arizona lead to only 1 run.

With the Wildcats unable to extend their lead, UCLA took up the bats in the top of the seventh inning for their last chance to at least tie the game. UCLA then notched 5 RBIs. The first one came on a single to center field, and then they crushed a 3-run home run to left field. With a double off the wall in center field for the final RBI of the game, UCLA took the lead for the first time with a score of 8-4.

Arizona had a four-batter seventh inning and took their second loss to the No. 2-ranked UCLA 8-4.

Netz, however, did not receive the loss, and Yanez did not receive the win. Netz left the mound with the lead after being relieved by Silva, but because of the high-powered UCLA offense, Silva would be given the loss on record. Yanez did not receive the win as she was relieved by Faraimo when losing to Arizona. Faraimo was given the win on record.

Game 3

After two days of many pitching changes for both teams, familiarity reigned supreme as Arizona sent Netz out for the start at pitcher, and she faced Faraimo, UCLA’s ace pitcher.

UCLA got out to an early lead after a 3-run homer made the score 4-0 in the top of the first. In fear of getting too far behind early, Lowe pulled Netz and put in Ali Blanchard. After that, UCLA controlled the entire game, getting 2 runs in the second, 1 run in the third, 2 in the fourth and 5 in the fifth.

UCLA batted through the entire Wildcat pitching staff. After Blanchard came Brianna Hardy and Silva before Sydney Somerndike finished the game.

Arizona did get some runs of their own. 1 run came in the bottom of the second after a bad throw from UCLA. Two more runs came in the third when Dakota Kennedy and Skaggs hit back-to-back solo home runs and, finally, 2 runs in the fifth when Kennedy got her second homer of the game.

 

Arizona was no match for UCLA’s monstrous offense, losing 14-5 in only five innings, making this the first time the Wildcats have been beaten by an 8 run-rule this season.

“We need to get better in the circle,” Lowe said. “Competing with our best stuff and competing with the same kind of intensity that our offense is competing with right now.”

“They can either let this fuel them or let this get to them and I think that’s the choice they’re going to have to make this weekend,” Lowe said.

Second baseman Skaggs said she doesn’t feel like the team is giving up; they are just angry because everyone knows they have the chance to win every game and are just coming up short.

“I just smile at them,” Skaggs said after the loss. “I think that is something a lot of them just need, just need comfort. If you can just look at an older person that’s been here and they’re smiling at you, it makes life a little bit easier.”

With this loss, the Wildcats fall to 24-18 and 3-12 in conference play. Arizona’s conference losing streak is now extended to ten games and they have lost 11 of the last 12 conference games played.

 

The Arizona Wildcats’ next game is on Wednesday, April 19, in Phoenix against Grand Canyon University. Arizona then travels up to Eugene, Oregon, on Friday, April 21, for another three-game series, this time against the University of Oregon. This will be the Wildcats’ last road trip of the regular season. They are back in Tucson on Friday, April 28, to take on Oregon State University. They will remain at home until the end of the Pac-12 softball tournament, which is also being held in Tucson.


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