TUCSON – For the sixth consecutive game, and seventh in last eight contests, Arizona needed just five innings to claim a run rule victory as the 10th-ranked cruised to a 9-1 win over Indiana to close the Wildcat Invitational. The six straight mercy-shortened victories tie a school a record.
Arizona improved to 18-1 on the season. Thirteen of those victories have been five-inning wins, while 16 have been decided by five or more runs.
In UA’s last eight game, the Cats have outscored their opponents 80-5 and their pitchers have limited opponents to just 22 hits. For the season, UA has outscored its opposition 158-12.
With the victory, Arizona swept its three games in the weather-abbreviated Wildcat Invitational to improve to 92-3 all-time in the event.
Hallie Wilson led the Cats with her 3-for-3 outing at the dish, her first three-hit performance of 2014. Wilson drove in a run and scored two more in the contest.
Kellie Fox picked up RBI numbers 30 and 31 on the year to extend her conference lead. Fox was hit by a pitch with the bases loaded to pick up the first run while her fourth-inning single was responsible for the remaining RBI.
Chelsea Goodacre added a pair of RBI in the game as well, both coming on a two-out homer in the bottom of the first, her sixth long ball of the year.
Starter Kenzie Fowler (3-0) allowed one run on four hits with three strikeouts and three walks in four innings pitched. The senior was relieved by Nancy Bowling in the fifth, who allowed a hit but nothing more in her lone inning of work.
Indiana (2-14-1) got off to a good start when it plated a run in the top of the first inning. CaraMia Tsirigos worked a bases-loaded walk off of Fowler to put Arizona in an early 1-0 hole.
It did not take long for Arizona to climb out of that hole as Goodacre hit her sixth homer of the season, a two-run shot with two outs in the bottom of the first.
UA plated two more runs in the bottom of the second. Wilson singled in a run before Fox was hit with the bases loaded to make it 4-1 Wildcats.
Kelsey Rodriguez led off the bottom of the third inning with her fifth double in three games. Pinch runner Payton Kornfeind moved to third and scored on Mo Mercado’s sacrifice fly.
In the fourth, Wilson singled up the middle and Courtney Rodriguez doubled down the left field line to put two on for Kellie Fox, who singled home Wilson with a single through the left side. A Goodacre walk loaded the bases before a Kelsey Rodriguez walk plated a run. A pair of poorly-executed pitches, one wild and one illegal, brought in the final two runs of the game to make it 9-1 after four innings.
Up Next: Arizona will play seven games next week, beginning with a Tuesday doubleheader with Ball State beginning at 4:00 p.m. MST at Hillenbrand Stadium. UA will then travel to Fullerton, Calif. for the Judi Garman Classic Friday through Sunday.
Complete Wildcat Invitational Schedule
Friday, Feb. 28
Longwood 4, UT Arlington 3
Indiana 8, UT Arlington 5
Iowa 8, Valparaiso 0 (5 innings)
ARIZONA 8, Longwood 0 (5 innings)
ARIZONA 9, Valparaiso 1 (5 innings)
Saturday, March 1
Longwood 7, Indiana 2
Indiana 5, Valparaiso 0 (in progress)
Valparaiso vs. Longwood (postponed)
ARIZONA vs. UT Arlington (canceled)
ARIZONA vs. Iowa (canceled)
UT Arlington vs. Iowa (canceled)
Sunday, March 2
Longwood 4, Iowa 1
UT Arlington 1, Valparaiso
ARIZONA 9, Indiana 1 (5 innings)
3:00 p.m. Valparaiso vs. Longwood