April 15, 2012
BERKELEY, Calif. -
No. 13 Arizona Softball (29-12, 8-7 Pac-12) came up short, 6-0 to No. 1 California (39-2, 11-1) in game three of the three-game series between the two.
Wildcat pitchers held Valerie Arioto, perhaps the nation's best hitter, hitless through the first two games. That ended Sunday when Arioto hit two home runs, a part of Cal's seven-hit, six-run offensive attack that was backed by Jolene Henderson's three-hit shutout.
Kenzie Fowler (12-5) got the start for Arizona and pitched the first 3.1 innings before being relieved by Shelby Babcock. Fowler allowed five runs on five hits while striking out four and walking one. In 2.2 innings, Babcock allowed one run on two hits while walking one and striking out two.
Henderson (22-1) dealt a gem after being roughed up in relief on Saturday. The California ace allowed only three hits, all with two out in an inning. Henderson allowed multiple base-runners in a frame just once. Henderson allowed three hits, struck out five and walked one in the outing.
One game after posting a season-best 13 hits, the Cats nearly opposed that with their lowest offensive outing of the season. The three hits were better than two-hit outings against Stanford and Georgia earlier in the season.
California scored two runs in the second on a Danielle Henderson RBI single and suicide squeeze put down by Victoria Jones.
In the third, Arioto had one of her two home runs, a solo shot to left field to put Cal up 3-0.
The only threat for the Wildcats came in the fourth inning when Lini Koria singled through the right side with two out and a Washington error put two Cats on board. Chelsea Goodacre, though, would ground into a fielder's choice to end the threat.
The Bears struck for two more in the fourth inning. Fowler allowed a walk, single and double in the frame before being lifted for Babcock. The sophomore entered with one out and two runners in scoring position. Babcock got the first two batters out, but one of which, a Jamia Reid groundout, produced a California run to give the Bears a 5-0 lead.
Arioto added her second home run, a solo shot to lead off the sixth inning.
The Cats would get a single base-runner the rest of the way and California closed out its 6-0 win.
Arizona returns home to face New Mexico in a doubleheader on Wednesday, April 18 beginning at 11:00 a.m. PDT.