TUCSON -- Long balls marked the evening as Arizona swept a doubleheader, 9-1 and 11-5, from visiting Marshall Wednesday evening at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The Cats (23-8) let a run-rule game get away from them in the second game, however, as Marshall scored three runs in the top of the fifth to extend the contest.
A crowd of 2,445 watched the Cats clout four of the them in the nightcap, with two in the second and two in the fourth innings. UA had one in the first game.
Rachel Folden led off the game with a home run off UA starter Lindsey Sisk to left to stake the Thundering Herd (12-20) to a 1-0 lead.
But UA found the long ball early in the game as well, with Stacie Chambers leading off the UA second with a solo shot to left to start a bat-around inning. It was her second of the night after a grand slam in the first game.
Laine Roth got an infield single and K'Lee Arredondo drew a walk, and then Callista Balko hit her 11th home run of the year to make it 4-1.
Not to be outdone, Samantha Rodriguez led off the MU third with another solo shot, this one down the left field line, to cut the lead to two.
Chambers' baserunning in the next inning got another run without a hit. She drew a walk, and then on Roth's sacrifice bunt motored around all the way to third to beat the throw. She scored on Arredondo's sacrifice fly to left to make it 5-2.
Taryne Mowatt (12-6) came in with the tying run on deck and two runners in scoring position with UA leading 5-2 in the fourth, and struck out Rodriguez to halt the threat. It set her up to earn a save, but and inning later she allowed enough runs to make Sisk's 3.2 innings pitched not enough for a
Arizona's big fourth inning pushed the Cats over the eight-run margin to potentially trim the game to five innings, scoring six runs on seven hits. Jenae Leles hit a three-run home run and Laine Roth hit her seventh homer in the last 10 games with a solo shot an out later.
But Mowatt gave up singles to Caitlyn Jackson and Rachael Sofie, and with one out walked Kelly Neilson to load the bases in the top of the fifth. She hit Marcena Bertoldo with a pitch to force in a run, struck out pinch hitter Rachel Schmidt and then walked in another run to make it 11-5, negating the mercy rule and subsequently becoming the pitcher of record when UA failed to get the runs back in its half of the inning.
Mowatt got herself into another spot in the MU sixth, giving up a leadoff double to Jackson, walking Melanie Stoehr and hitting Bertoldo with another pitch. But?Kristina Knecht hit into a force play to end the inning.
Erin DeStefano (2-5) took the loss for the Thundering Herd. Sisk gave up the two home runs and three other hits in the no-decision outing.
Up Next: Arizona (23-8) travels to the Bay Area to meet No. 5 Stanford Friday and?California on Saturday and Sunday to open Pacific-10 Conference play.
Game 1???????????? Box Score ?
Arizona made the most of seven hits to back Taryne Mowatt's one-hit pitching to beat Marshall, 9-1, Wednesday in a doubleheader opener.?
The Cats (22-8) took a 3-0 lead in the first. Brittany Lastrapes and Lauren Schutzler singled, and moved up on a failed pickoff attempt. Jenae Leles doubled them in with a shot down the right field line. A ground ball by Stacie Chambers moved Leles to third, and she scored on Laine Roth's RBI grounder.
Kelly Nielson hit a two-out home run to left center to give MU (12-19) its first hit in the top of the second. K'Lee Arredondo hit a one-out triple in the UA second and scored on Adrienne Acton's infield grounder to answer and make it 4-1.
Schutzler and Chambers drew walks sandwiched around a double by Leles to load the bases with no outs in the UA third. But Herd pitcher Caitlyn Jackson struck out Laine Roth, Callista Balko hit into a rare 2-4 double play, with catcher Rachel Folden stepping on the plate on a squeeze attempt and throwing out batter Callista Balko
Jackson got into trouble in the UA fourth, walking two around a hit by Lastrapes, and then walking Leles with the bases loaded to force in a run. Stacie Chambers then blasted a grand slam to center to make it 9-0. It was her ninth of the season and push her into the team RBI lead with 31.
Mowatt hit Marcena Bertoldo and walked Kristina Knecht to get into a mini-jam in the top of the fifth. A passed ball moved them to second and third to threaten the mercy rule, but Mowatt struck out Marshall's top hitter, Rachel Folden.
Mowatt improved to 11-6. Jackson dropped to 5-12.