TUCSON, Ariz. ?- The No. 2 Arizona softball team’s bats came alive Saturday against Oregon as the Cats beat the Ducks, 8-1, just a night after being shut out by Oregon State.
The Wildcats put a pair of runs on the board in the second inning, when designated hitter Candace Abrams singled up the middle with one out. Crystal Farley put down a sacrifice bunt to move Abrams to second, and freshman Adrienne Acton reached on a Ducks error that allowed Abrams to score. Acton stole second, Caitlin Lowe walked and Autumn Champion singled to load the bases with two out. Ducks pitcher Amy Harris walked Kristie Fox, scoring Acton and giving Arizona a two-run edge.
Oregon scored a run in the fourth, cutting the Cats’ lead to one. Left fielder Lovena Chaput was hit by an Alicia Hollowell pitch and reached second on a sacrifice bunt by center fielder Suzie Barnes. First baseman Beth Boskovich then doubled to center, scoring Chaput.
The Cats added two more runs in the fifth, when Jackie Coburn drew a two-out walk. Shelly Schultz also walked before Oregon switched pitchers. With Alicia Cook on the mound for the Ducks, Callista Balko doubled to right center, scoring Coburn and Schultz and giving Arizona a 4-1 advantage.
But Arizona’s offense wasn’t done yet. In the bottom of the sixth, Farley, Acton and Lowe all hit singles to load the bases with no one out. Senior Jen Martinez pinch-hit for Champion and hit a grand slam over the fence in right center, her first homer of the year, giving Arizona an 8-1 advantage.
Hollowell got the win for the Cats in a seven-inning, five-hit, four-K performance. Her record is now 21-3.
The Wildcats’ record improves to 30-4 overall and 4-2 in the Pac-10. Arizona will be in action Sunday at 1 p.m. versus Oregon at Hillenbrand Stadium. That game will be televised on ESPNU.