Feb. 10, 2012
TEMPE, Ariz. - Arizona Softball was swept on day two of the Kajikawa Classic, as Georgia Tech and No. 21 Nebraska beat UA by one run each.
The sweep marked the first time Arizona (1-2) dropped two games in one day since 2008 when it lost to Northwestern (5-8) and Texas A&M (2-3) on Feb. 16 in the first games of 2008 at the Kajikawa Classic.
This year marks the third year in the last five that Arizona has recorded at least two losses in the first three games. In 2009, the team started 1-2 with losses to Kansas and Northwestern and in 2008, the team started 0-3 with losses to Northwestern, Texas A&M and Nevada.
Georgia Tech downed Arizona 2-1 in the early game, and in contrasting style, 21 total runs were scored in the nightcap as Nebraska beat Arizona 11-10 in walk-off fashion.
In half of the innings UA played (7 of 14), the opponent loaded the bases against the UA pitcher.
The Wildcats return to action tomorrow at the Kajikawa Classic. UA takes on Syracuse 1:30 p.m. and Texas A&M at 4:00 p.m. MST.
Game 1: Georgia Tech 2, Arizona 1
Arizona got a run across in the first and then posted six straight zeros and squandered opportunities. Eighteen runners were stranded in the game, with Georgia Tech (2-0) passing up two bases-loaded opportunities.
A third-inning, two-run single by Alysha Rudnik proved to be the difference in the game.
The Cats and the Yellow Jackets each recorded five hits.
Jessica Spigner batted in UA's lone run and has now driven in a run in both career games at Arizona.
Shelby Babcock took the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the season. The sophomore pitched the first five innings, allowing four hits, two runs, walking five and striking out two. Kenzie Fowler pitched the final two innings; the junior allowed a hit and stuck out three.
A Wildcat two-out rally got the scoring started in the first. UA recorded four consecutive two-out hits including an RBI single by Spigner to give UA a 1-0 lead.
Georgia Tech loaded the bases in the third with only one out. Alysha Rudnik singled home pair of Yellow Jackets and Arizona faced its first deficit of the season: 2-1.
Babcock got out of consecutive one-out, bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth to keep UA's deficit at one.
Game 2: Nebraska 11, Arizona 10
In the top of the fourth inning, Arizona was leading 5-0, batting with the bases loaded and one out for its three and four hitters, threatening to break the game open and potentially run-rule Nebraska (1-1). The Cats would get one run out of the situation and Nebraska would go on to score nine unanswered.
Lini Koria tied an Arizona record with her third home run of the game with one out in the top of the seventh to cut the Cornhuskers' lead to two. Kristen Arriola walked, Shelby Pendley reached on an error and Karissa Buchanan singled to load the bases with two out for Hallie Wilson. The freshman doubled home three runs and Arizona took a 10-9 lead.
Nebraska, needing a run to extend the game or two to win it, loaded the bases with no one out in the bottom of the seventh. Tatum Edwards had an RBI single to tie the game and Courtney Breault walked off with an RBI single to right.
Babcock (1-2) took the loss for UA. The sophomore relieved Kenzie Fowler in the sixth. Fowler allowed nine runs, eight earned, walked six and struck out eight in her first start of the season. Babcock allowed two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out a couple in relief.
The Wildcats hit four home runs in the game including three by Koria. Freshman Pendley's first career hit at Arizona went over the fence.
Koria led Arizona with four RBI; Wilson chipped in three, all on her seventh-inning double. The two each recorded three hits.
Three extra base hits for UA in the second inning, including two homers, helped the Wildcats to a three-run inning. Koria got the scoring going when she lifted a home run to left field to leadoff the frame. Following a Chelsea Goodacre single, Pendley homered to straight-away center field.
Koria bombed a second home run in the third to increase Arizona's lead to 5-0.
Fowler ran into her first trouble of the game in the fourth when she walked two, hit a batter, allowed a single and a grand slam as Nebraska put a five-spot up in the inning.
In the fifth, a walk and a pair of singles loaded the bases with no one out for Nebraska. A Fowler wild pitch brought home the tying run.
Nebraska broke the tie in the sixth with three runs. An error allowed a base runner to start the frame. Ashley Guile drove two runs home to give Nebraska an 8-6 lead. The Huskers would load the bases and score again on a Breault RBI single to extend the lead to 9-6.