Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Wildcats Run Rule New Mexico Twice
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 25, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The fifth-ranked Arizona softball team swept a Saturday doubleheader with New Mexico in convincing fashion, with 13-0 and 8-0, five-inning victories.


The Wildcat bats scorched Lobo pitching for 21 runs and five home runs in just eight innings at the plate.


In the second game, Arizona took a quick 2-0 lead in the first inning with a pair of unearned runs and never looked back.  After a scoreless second, senior infielders Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox teamed to lead off the bottom half of the third with back-to-back home runs.  Fox followed Mesa’s fifth home run of the year with her eighth longball of the season and 200th career RBI.


The Wildcats kept the pressure on the Lobos, as Sarah Akamine followed the homers with a single up the middle.  Callista Balko laid down a sacrifice bunt that turned into at second and third after Ninemire’s second throwing error of the game.  Following a Jenae Leles walk, Sam Banister broke the game open with a grand slam.  The four-run bomb was Banister’s second home run of the year and gave Arizona an 8-0 lead over the Lobos.


Sarah Akamine (7-1) earned the first complete-game shutout of her career, limiting the Lobo hitters to three hits and one walk in five innings of work.


UA Opens Doubleheader with 13-0 Thrashing of Lobos


The Wildcats returned to the friendly confines of Hillenbrand Stadium after a couple weeks on the road by exploding with a 13-0, five-inning victory over New Mexico.


Three UA hitters ?- Chelsie Mesa, Kristie Fox and Jenae Leles ?- had three RBI apiece, as the Wildcats cruised in the first half of the doubleheader.


Taryne Mowatt (16-6) tossed a one-hitter and her sixth complete-game shutout of the year.  The Wildcat hurler scattered three walks to six strikeouts and pitched to just three batters over the minimum.  New Mexico’s Kelly Ninemire (4-6) drew the loss after giving up eight runs in 3.1 innings of work.


The Wildcat seniors staked UA to a 3-0 lead right off the bat in the bottom of the first.  Caitlin Lowe led off with a bunt single and stole second ?- the 134th career steal of her career.  Chelsie Mesa then singled to right to put runners on the corners.  With Kristie Fox at the plate, Mesa stole second, but the runners’ positions would not matter, as Fox clubbed a three-run homer to left.  The four-bagger was Fox’s seventh of the year and 40th of her career.


With the score still 3-0 in the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcat bats came alive with 10 runs.  Sarah Akamine led the frame off with a single to center and moved to second on a Callista Balko bunt single.  One out and a walk to Laine Roth later, K’Lee Arredondo and Adrienne Acton came through with a pair of one-run singles.  The rally prompted a Lobo pitching change, as Tori Rogers relieved starter Kelly Ninemire after three and one-thirds innings of work. 


UNM’s new hurler didn’t have much better luck, as the UA hitters tagged her for two hits and two walks in 0.1 innings pitched.  After starting off by striking out Lowe, Mesa smoked Rogers’ 1-1 offering to right-center field for a three-run double, upping UA’s lead to an 8-0 advantage.  The next two Cats drew walks, bringing Balko back up for her second base knock of the inning ?- this one to drive in yet another run.  With the bases still loaded, Fox scored on a passed ball before Jenae Leles capped off the 10-run rally with a three-run homer.    


Game Notes:

-         Caitlin Lowe stole her 134th career base in the first inning of the first game.  The stolen base places Lowe in sole possession of second place on Arizona’s all-time list.  Now only Alison McCutcheon’s 148 career stolen bases stand between Lowe and the school record.

-         Arizona’s 13 runs in the first game were a season high and the most robust offensive performance since UA’s 14-5 super-regional clinching victory on May 27, 2006.

-         Prior to the game, Arizona Athletic Director Jim Livengood was on hand to recognize head coach Mike Candrea’s 1100th career victory from a week ago.


Up Next: Arizona wraps up non-conference play and its three-game set with the Lobos on Sunday at noon.