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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Schedule not getting easier

    Arizona outfielder Brittany Lastrapes robs a hit in an 8-1 loss to No. 1 ASU Wednesday night at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats look to get back to their winning ways when they host two ranked opponents this weekend.
    Arizona outfielder Brittany Lastrapes robs a hit in an 8-1 loss to No. 1 ASU Wednesday night at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats look to get back to their winning ways when they host two ranked opponents this weekend.

    No. 4 UCLA at No. 8 Arizona

    When the Arizona softball team entered this season ranked No. 1 and back-to-back national champions, it may have been easy for them to expect similar success this season.

    The Wildcats had their star pitcher back in Taryne Mowatt, and a stacked lineup capable of beating up any opposing pitcher. They were practically ready to pack their bags for Oklahoma City.

    But after getting walloped last night in their Pacific 10 Conference opener 8-1 to ASU, currently the nation’s No. 1 team, it may have been a news flash that it isn’t going to come easy.

    “”Anytime you get a thorough beating like that the best thing to do is remember that and to work so that it doesn’t happen very often and that’s what I told them,”” said interim head coach Larry Ray. “”We’ve got to make sure we make better adjustments.””

    It would be nice if Arizona had a few games to recuperate before facing another top-tier opponent, but in the Pac-10 schedule, it just simply doesn’t work that way.

    The Wildcats have their plates full once again at Hillenbrand Stadium, as they host No. 25 Washington tonight at 7 and finish out the weekend with games against No. 4 UCLA tomorrow and Sunday.

    “”It’s going to be tough. I told the team this weekend is going to be a tougher ballgame than what we just experienced (against ASU),”” Ray said. “”We’ve got to strap it on and make sure that we start playing Arizona softball.””

    Mowatt, who began to settle down after being shelled in her opening-day start against Northwestern in the Kajikawa Classic, gave up four home runs in Wednesday’s loss to the Sun Devils while giving up six earned runs.

    But Mowatt’s work is far from over. The senior and the coaching staff are hoping she can get in a few solid starts, helping her get back into last season’s All-American form.

    The Wildcats are still relying on her.

    “”(Mowatt) is kind of along the same lines (as last season),”” Ray said. “”It was about this time last year that she really threw two excellent ballgames and we’re looking for her to step it up, we’re counting on her big time.””

    Mowatt chose not to comment following the loss to ASU.

    Mowatt, who was named the Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week on Wednesday for her outstanding performances last weekend in Oregon, said prior to her bad outing against ASU that she is still confident in her ability to be a shut-down pitcher, and worrying about some of her spotty performances wasn’t an issue.

    “”I feel like my old self,”” Mowatt said before Tuesday’s practice. “”I hope it is the same story as last year.””

    The good news for the Wildcats is it was only one game, and they have plenty of opportunity to make up for their Wednesday blemish, as all concentration has now been shifted to Washington and UCLA.

    “”I don’t think (we’re over confident because of past success),”” said third baseman Janae Leles. “”We all know that we don’t play in the past, right now the future and the present is what’s happening so I don’t think we even really thought about the past.””

    – Bobby Stover contributed reporting

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