Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
No. 4 Softball Falls to No. 2 Aggies, 4-3
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: February 25, 2007
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON, Ariz. ?- Taryne Mowatt limited No. 2 Texas A&M to no earned runs and three hits in seven innings, but a fifth-inning grand slam was too much for the fourth-ranked Wildcats to overcome on Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.


The loss dropped Arizona to 10-3 on the year, while A&M improved to 13-1.  Mowatt’s record moved to 6-3, and Aggie pitcher Megan Gibson remained perfect with a 6-0 mark.


The game remained scoreless until the Aggie half of the fifth, when A&M third baseman Jamie Hinshaw blasted her second home run of the year for all four of the Aggies runs on the night.  The inning started innocently enough with a leadoff walk to Holly Ridley.  After A&M right fielder Bailey Schroeder laid down a sacrifice bunt, UA first baseman Sam Banister tried to cut Ridley off at second but threw wide of the bag to give the Aggies a pair of runners with no one out.  Mowatt appeared got a pair of quick outs with a strikeout of Joy Davis and a Sharonda McDonald lineout, but a full-count walk to Macie Morrow loaded the bases for Hinshaw who delivered the blow.


Arizona responded in the bottom half of the frame with a run of its own to cut the deficit to three runs. Callista Balko led off with a walk, advanced to second on a wild pitch, to third on a Banister single and scored via a Cyndi Duran RBI groundout ?- but that would be UA’s only run in the inning.


Still down 4-1 in the sixth, a pair of Wildcat seniors stepped up to put UA right back in with a pair of runs.  Kristie Fox lined a one-out double off the left field wall, and Chelsie Mesa ?- who went 2-for-3 on the night ?- hit her first home run of the year to bring the Wildcats within one run.


Mowatt retired the final seven Aggie hitters following the grand slam, but the damage was done.  Arizona had the tying run at the plate three times in the seventh, and a gutsy 11-pitch, pinch-hit at-bat by Sarah Akamine that proved to be UA’s last batter as she popped to first.


Mowatt struck out 12 batters to just three walks and allowed only one Aggie to reach scoring position outside of the fifth inning.


Game Notes:

-         With a fourth-inning single, Chelsie Mesa extended her team-high hit streak to 10 games.

-         Tonight’s game marked just the second time in 13 games Arizona has failed to register at least one stolen base.

-         Caitlin Lowe failed to reach base at least once in a game for the first time in 40 games (Arizona’s 1-0 loss to Texas on March 19, 2006 in Fullerton, Calif.)   


Up Next: Arizona and Texas A&M will play the rubber match of their three-game series at noon Sunday at Hillenbrand Stadium.