Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
Cats Earn Spot in Super Regionals
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: May 21, 2006
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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TUCSON--Sophomore pitcher Taryne Mowatt kept Auburn's hitters off balance for most of the game, then hung on and finished with a three-hitter to lead Arizona (47-9) to a 4-2 victory over the Tigers and a berth in the NCAA Softball Championships Super Regionals next week.


The victory puts two Pac-10 squads in Super Regional play, following Washington's qualification earlier in the day with a victory over Kansas at Region 14 play in Provo, Utah.


The Cats had a two-run home run by Chelsie Mesa in the top of the fourth, and scored a pair of runs in the fifth on an RBI single by Kristie Fox and a run-scoring grounder by Callista Balko.


In the top of the fourth, Balko led off with a single to left field.  Following a Jenae Leles flyout to center, Mesa stepped to the plate.  The junior from Yuma, Ariz., then broke the game’s scoreless tie with a home run to deep right-center field, giving UA a 2-0 advantage.


The Wildcats would tack on another pair of runs in the fifth.  Adrienne Acton led off the frame with a single to left, and advanced to second on an Autumn Champion infield single.  With two runners on, Fox drove a line drive to left field, scoring Acton and advancing Champion to second.  With Balko at bat and on Auburn’s minds, Champion swiped third base with a delayed steal, putting runners at the corners.  Seeing Champion 60 feet away, Balko brought her teammate around to score with an RBI groundout to first.


Mowatt was working on a perfect game for four and two-thirds innings before giving up a solo home run to Auburn's Sara Ghezzi to cut the lead to 4-1 in the fifth.


UA’s sophomore pitcher from Corona, Calif., kept things interesting by giving up a one-out solo home run to Holly Currie in the bottom of the seventh to cut the lead to 4-2, then Tatiana Fernandez reached on an error and Mowatt walked Ghezzi to put the winning run at the plate. She struck out Myesha Finney and then got Heather Garrison to ground to third for the final out.


In the 11-strikeout victory, Mowatt improved her record to 21-4.  She has not lost since April 9 against UCLA.


The Wildcats went undefeated at 3-0 in regional play. The No. 24-ranked Tigers finished their year with a 35-22 record and a 2-2 mark in Region 2 games.


Up next: Arizona next plays the winner of the NCAA Region 7 tournament in Baton Rouge, La. The NCAA will announce pairing after the completion of Friday-Sunday action at 14 other regionals around the country.


Game notes:

-         Callista Balko has had at least one RBI in nine of the last 12 games.

-         This was the first postseason game since 2002 for Arizona, in which, Alicia Hollowell did not pitch.

-         Adrienne Acton and Kristie Fox both extended their seven-game hitting streaks.


Post-Game Quotes


Arizona head coach Mike Candrea

On advancing to the super regionals:

“It’s what we set out to do. But more than that, I’m proud of the progress this team has made. We have really come together the last few weeks.”


On the performance of pitcher Taryne Mowatt:

“It was huge for us that Taryne finish the game. We need to have two pitchers to count on, especially with the way the tournament is set up now.”


On what he said to Mowatt during a conference in the bottom of the seventh:

“I told her, ?'this is your ballgame. You’re finishing this damn thing’. Pure and simple, I walked away after that.”


Arizona P Taryne Mowatt

On closing the game out:

“Last week, I struggled to finish the game. I talked with Coach (Candrea) earlier in the week about closing games out. He told me about a pitcher he had here in the past (Susie Para) who didn’t close a game out until regionals that year. He told me to not think about games in the past. He told me I wasn’t coming out today and that I was going to finish the game, and I did.”


On her thoughts during Auburn’s seventh-inning threat:

“Initially, I was thinking, ?'no!’. Then I settled in and thought there was no way we were going to play another game today.”


On giving Alicia Hollowell a day’s rest:

“It was huge for her to get a day of rest on a hot day. She deserved the rest.”


Arizona 2B Chelsie Mesa

On her approach at the plate and the fourth-inning home run:

“I’m feeling very comfortable at bat right now. Mentally and physically I feel ready to hit. It’s the best time of the year to be feeling good and hitting the ball well. Everyone, one through nine (in the order) is getting involved. I just wanted to contribute.”


Auburn head coach Tina Deese

On the team’s performance:

“I’m extremely proud of the way our girls played. I think we gave everyone watching on TV a good game. I’m proud of the effort of our pitchers (Holly Currie and Beth DiPietro). Arizona is a very good, strong offensive team. They also have a running game. I thought we did a nice job, overall.”


On the team’s offensive adjustments in the seventh inning:

“I thought we made some good adjustments at the end. We started getting some good at bats.”


Auburn P/DP Holly Currie

On the Arizona offense:

“I give them (Arizona) all the credit in the world. They are very fast at the top (of the order). I did the best I could to make it hard on them.”


Auburn DP/OF Sara Ghezzie

On her fifth-inning solo home run:

“She was starting to pitch up in the zone a bit. I wanted to lay off the rise out of the zone. I got a changeup and kept my head down.”


 NCAA Division I Softball Championships - Region 2 Results


Tucson Regional Schedule






4 p.m.

1 - Ohio State 1, Auburn 0



6:30 p.m.

2  - Arizona 9, Marist 0



1:30 p.m.

3 ?- Arizona 6, Ohio State 3



4 p.m.

4 ?- Auburn 14, Marist 0

Marist eliminated 


6:30 p.m.

5 ?- Auburn 4, Ohio State 0

Ohio State eliminated

Saturday 3 pm.

6 ?- Arizona 4, Auburn 2

Auburn eliminated