No. 3-ranked Arizona closed its first weekend of regular-season softball play with a 9-0, five-inning shutout against New Mexico State to conclude play in the Pepsi Arizona Classic. UA, at 5-0, takes the first-place finish in the Pepsi Classic.
In Game 13, Northwestern pounded Oklahoma State, 9-1, assuring the NU Wildcats of second place with a 4-1 record, its only loss coming to Arizona. The Cowgirls finished 2-3.
In Game 14, Tulsa edged Kansas, 3-2, after the Jayhawks threatened in the bottom of the seventh. Tulsa finished the Pepsi Classic with a 3-2 record, and Kanses will head home with a record of 1-4.
In Game 15, Arizona shut out New Mexico State in five innings, 9-0, to stay undefeated on the season and win the Pepsi Classic. Freshman pitcher Taryne Mowatt got her second win of the season in her five-inning, eight-K performance Sunday.
Sophomore Kristie Fox scored three runs on three hits and drove in three. Fox went yard for the second time this season to give the Cats a one-run edge in the first.
Junior Autumn Champion, freshman Caitlin Lowe and Junior Shelly Schultz all had RBIs for Arizona.
The Cats will be back in action this weekend in Phoenix at the Kajikawa Tournament hosted by Arizona State.
UA coach Mike Candrea won the 987th game of his career with the victory over NMSU, moving him closer to the historical threshold of 1,000 victories matched by only a handful of coaches in Division I history. In the last half-dozen years, Arizona has reached the 18-game victory mark -- what Candrea needed to reach 1,000 -- some time during its first two dozen games. That could come during the first or second week in March, if UA plays to its typical early-season fashion.
The weekend marked the successful switch of senior Crystal Farley from a three-year outfielder to the Cats' first baseman, and the introduction of freshman catcher Callisto Balko and pitcher Mowatt to Division I play. Otherwise, UA's lineup remained in the hands of its veterans, a nucleus of players that last year won the program's eighth Pac-10 championship.
Game 13: Northwestern 9, Oklahoma State 1
Game 14: Tulsa 3, Kansas 2
Game 15: Arizona 9, New Mexico State 0 (5)