PALM SPRINGS, Calif. ?- The No. 1 Arizona softball team (13-0) defeated Texas Tech, 3-1, and No. 8 Texas A&M, 12-0, in the Palm Springs Classic on Friday.
Arizona’s Pac-10 leading pitching staff continued to keep its opponents’ bats at bay in Friday’s games. Taryne Mowatt (6-0) gave up only two hits in seven innings against the Red Raiders, and Alicia Hollowell (7-0) tossed a one-hit shutout against Aggies.
In its game against the Aggies at the Kajikawa Classic, Arizona put up seven runs in the first inning. Although UA did not match the touchdown it scored in its last meeting, the Wildcats scored early and often. With one out in the first inning, UA loaded the bases when Megan Gibson hit Autumn Champion and Chelsie Mesa with pitches, followed by a Kristie Fox walk.
Callista Balko hit a sac fly, scoring Champion for the game’s first run. Next, with runners on the corners, two out and a full count, Jenae Leles smacked a two-run double to left.
Gibson’s lack of control continued in the third inning. After Laine Roth led off with a single, the next three UA hitters walked, putting the Cats up, 4-0. Two batters later, Kristie Fox reached on an error, scoring Adrienne Acton for UA’s fifth run. Next with Balko at the plate, it was another batter, another walk and another run for the Wildcats. With the bases still loaded, Jenae Leles became the third Wildcat to be hit by a pitch. Sam Banister followed with an RBI single, increasing UA’s lead to 8-0.
All told, Arizona drew eight walks and was hit by three pitches in the game’s five innings.
Arizona scored two more runs in each of the next two innings, before being held scoreless in the fifth inning.
Hollowell lost her chance at her 16th career no-hitter, when since-relieved Gibson singled through the left side in the fourth inning. Gibson, however, would be A&M’s only runner of the run-rule shortened ballgame.
In the game against the Red Raiders, the top 1-2 punch in the country led the way for UA. Caitlin Lowe went 4-for-4 and Autumn Champion went 3-for-3, scoring two of the Wildcats’ runs in the ballgame.
Arizona continues play in the Palm Springs Classic on Saturday, when the Wildcats face Ohio State and Maryland at 5:30 p.m. (PST) and 8 p.m. (PST), respectively.