Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
Cats Fall to Michigan and Wisconsin on Day One
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 07, 2014

FULLERTON, Calif.Seventh-rankedArizona softball dropped a pair of games on day one of the Judi Garman Classic Friday in Fullerton, Calif.

The Cats were shutout by fifth-ranked Michigan 3-0 before falling to Wisconsin 7-5.

UA dropped to 20-3 on the season.

Game 1 – Michigan 3, Arizona 0

The Cats managed just five baserunners against Michigan pitcher Haylie Wagner as the Wolverines shutout Arizona 3-0, handing UA its second loss of the year.

Arizona put a runner in scoring position just one time in the game.

Chelsea Suitos, Kelsey Rodriguez, Lauren Young and Courtney Rodriguez notched the four hits for Arizona.

Wagner (10-0) tossed the complete-game shutout for the Wolverines despite striking out just one batter.

Starter Estela Piñon took the loss for Arizona to fall to 4-2 on the year. Piñon allowed two runs, one earned, on two hits with four walks and four strikeouts. Nancy Bowling allowed one run in relief. The sophomore allowed two hits and struck out a batter in her two innings of work.

Sierra Lawrence drove in two runs for Michigan on singles in the second and sixth innings. Nicole Sappingfield added an RBI single in the seventh.

Game 2 – Wisconsin 7, Arizona 5

Arizona’s late comeback bid fell just short in the nightcap, as the Wildcats rallied from five down and had the go-ahead run at the plate with no one out in the bottom of the seventh, but ultimately fell 7-5 to Wisconsin.

Wisconsin used a four-run fifth inning, a frame in which it had just one hit, to knock off the Cats.

Mo Mercado homered twice in the game and tallied three total RBI. Hallie Wilson and Chelsea Goodacre also batted in runs in the contest.

UA used a trio of pitchers in the contest, with starter Kenzie Fowler (3-1) taking the loss. Fowler gave up five runs, four earned on just three hits. The senior struck out a season-high seven batters but also issued a season-high six walks. Shelby Babcock and Estela Piñon also appeared in the game, giving a run apiece.

Wisconsin scored two runs in the top of the second to take the early lead, but UA would scratch across runs in the bottom of the second and third frames to tie the game.

The score remained 2-2 after four innings, before Wisconsin took advantage of UA miscues in the fifth to take a 6-2 lead. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with one out for the Badgers. Babcock replaced Fowler and hit the first batter she faced to bring in the go-ahead run. An error scored the next run before a walk and a wild pitch brought two more Wisconsin runs in.

The Badgers plated another run in the sixth inning off of Estela Piñon before the Cats began their comeback bid.

Mercado hit her second homer of the day, a two-run shot to right center to bring the Cats closer before Wilson singled in pinch runner Cynthia Pelayo later in the inning to bring Arizona within two. The Cats would load the bases, putting the tying runs in scoring position, but could not get a two-out hit to tie the game.

In the seventh, a single and a Wisconsin error put the tying runs on base with nobody out, but Wisconsin pitcher Cassandra Darrah (5-5) retired the next three hitters to end the game.

Up Next: Arizona returns to action Saturday at the Judi Garman Classic when it takes on Cal State Fullerton and Houston at 3:00 and 8:00 p.m. PT, respectively.