EUGENE, Ore. ?- Arizona’s senior infielders ?- Chelsie Mesa and Kristie Fox ?- combined to go 5-for-6 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBI in the Wildcats’ 6-2 victory over Oregon on Friday.
The fifth-ranked Wildcats improved to 36-10-1 on the year and 12-3-1 in Pac-10 play, as they lead the conference standings by two and a half games. No. 20 Oregon drops to 39-15 overall and 4-12 in Pac-10 play.
Taryne Mowatt (28-8) held Oregon to no earned runs on four hits in seven innings of work. She fanned 10 Duck hitters and handed out just three walks.
Oregon starter Melisa Rice drew the loss after lasting just 0.2 innings with a pair of unearned runs, before Alicia Cook relieved her pitching mate to close out the game’s opening frame. Cook, who made her first pitching appearance since throwing on April 14 against UCLA, gave up four runs on seven hits in 5.2 innings.
The Wildcats have recorded a pair of unearned runs to take a first-inning lead, before the game was delayed for 34 minutes due to rain. Mesa cracked a one-out double, followed by a Fox walk. Jenae Leles then loaded the bases by reaching on an Oregon fielding error. After Laine Roth hit into a fielder’s choice to retire Mesa, Callista Balko drew a run-scoring walk. With Sam Banister at the plate, Leles scored on a wild pitch. Once Banister completed her at-bat with a walk, officials began the delay.
Arizona tacked on its third unearned run of the contest in the second inning, as Adrienne Acton led off via an Oregon error. Two outs later, Fox plated Acton with her team-leading 12th double to up UA’s lead to a 3-0 margin.
That score held until the sixth, when Banister flied a solo home run over left field fence. The shot was Banister’s third of the year and first of Pac-10 play.
Oregon got on the board with an unearned run in its half of the sixth. With the top of the order up, Suzie Barnes led off with a walk, followed by an infield single off the bat of Sari-Jane Jenks. UO’s Jennifer Salling grounded a ball to second, which Chelsie Mesa mishandled, allowing Barnes to score and Ducks to reach second and third. Mowatt then walked Ann Marie Topps to load the bases with no outs. However, Mowatt battled back ?- striking out two hitters and allowing one additional unearned run on a groundout.
Mesa quickly atoned for the error with as she golfed a solo home run to right field to lead off the seventh. Mesa’s sixth homer of the year put her a triple short of the cycle on the day. The very next pitch, Mesa’s double play partner Kristie Fox went deep for the 13th time of the year and gave her 50 RBI on the season and 217th of her career. After the home runs, UA had regained its four-run advantage with a 6-2 lead.
- The teams sat through a 34-minute rain delay during the top of the first inning. Oregon’s Alicia Cook relieved starter Melissa Rice following the delay.
- Sam Banister’s sixth-inning home run prevented Arizona from having its first three-game homerless drought of the season.
- Taryne Mowatt recorded her 700th career strikeout, making her the sixth player in Arizona history to do so.
- Taryne Mowatt moved up the Arizona single-season strikeout list to fifth place. The four marks ahead of her are all four of Alicia Hollowell’s All-American campaigns.
Up Next: The Wildcats head to Corvallis to face No. 16 Oregon St on Saturday and Sunday at 1 p.m. Fans can log on to www.osubeavers.com for free live video of the two games.