Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Oregon Clinches Series with 12-7 Victory
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: April 29, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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April 28, 2012

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Thirteenth-ranked Arizona Softball (31-14, 8-9 Pac-12) dropped its second consecutive decision to No. 16 Oregon (35-12, 11-7) 12-7 and dropped its second consecutive series to the Ducks in Tucson.

Arizona, which was second in the country with a .983 fielding percentage entering the game, committed five errors in the contest, its most since May 2, 2010 in an 8-0 loss at California.

Oregon's combined 22 runs in the last two games are the most scored against the Wildcats in consecutive games since May 10, 2003 when Arizona split a doubleheader with Washington despite allowing 24 runs on the day.

The Wildcats have now lost their last three Pac-12 games by a combined 15 runs, the worst three-game conference stretch for UA since the Pac-10 began playing softball in 1988.

Arizona's offense managed seven runs for the second consecutive night, normally plenty to win a softball a game, but Shelby Babcock, who did not get help from her defense, allowed a season-most 12 runs to cross the plate. The dozen plate-crossers were the most allowed by Arizona since the same Oregon squad beat Arizona 12-6 363 days ago in its series victory at Hillenbrand in 2011.

Oregon scored 12 runs while also stranding 12 runners on base.

The 12 runs, 11 earned, and 13 hits surrendered by Babcock (16-8) were both season highs. The sophomore struck out five and walked seven.

Oregon starter Jessica Moore (24-8) was credited with a win despite allowing seven runs for the second straight night. Moore allowed five earned runs on 10 hits and struck out three while walking four.

Freshmen Hallie Wilson and Shelby Pendley drove in two runs apiece in the contest while Wilson, Jessica Spigner and Nicole Bryan all had multi-hit games.

For the second night in a row, Oregon recorded two home runs, these off the bat Kaylan Howard and Alexa Peterson. Both went 2-for-3 in the game with a combined five RBI.

Oregon started game two much the same way it started game one, with the bases loaded in the top of the first. A leadoff single followed by a one-out walk and two-out hit-by-pitch filled the bases with Ducks. Babcock would get out, however, when she induced a Samantha Pappas fielder's choice to end the inning.

The Cats scored the games' first run in the bottom of the first. Wilson led off with a single to left field and moved to second on a Chelsea Suitos groundout. Pendley laced a two-out single to left-center to give the Wildcats their first lead in the series.

Oregon scored seven runs in the second inning. The Ducks sent 11 to the plate. A walk, fielder's choice and single put two on for Kaylan Howard who hit a three-run homer. Three singles, a hit-by-pitch and a double scored four more runs to give Oregon a 7-1 lead after 1.5 innings of play.

UA loaded the bases with one out in the bottom half after three singles. A Wilson groundout and Suitos infield single plated a pair of runs to cut UO's lead to four runs.

The Cats cut into the Duck lead with three runs in the bottom of the third inning. Wilson and Suitos had RBI in the frame and the tying run was at second with one out and at third with two out, but the Cats could not score it.

After three innings of play, Arizona had six runs on nine hits; it would get one of each the rest of the way.

The Ducks added to their lead in the fourth. Two walks and a single loaded the bases with only one out in the fourth inning. Babcock then walked in the eighth Duck run of the game.

Oregon batted around once again in the sixth inning, this time plating just three runs. Babcock got the first two out of the sixth inning before allowing a Peterson solo home run followed by two singles and a walk to load the bases. Janie Takeda singled in a run followed by a Pendley error to give Oregon its 11th and 12th runs of the game.

Pendley notched her second RBI of the game, and team-best 47th of the season with a groundout in the sixth to cut Oregon's lead to 12-7.

Arizona will attempt to salvage a game in the series when the two clubs meet Sunday at 11:00 a.m. PDT for the final game between the two.