Arizona Opens Season with 12-3 Victory over Ohio State
TEMPE, Ariz. ?- The top-ranked Arizona softball team run-ruled Ohio State 12-3 in its 2007 season-opener on Friday as part of ASU’s Kajikawa Classic.
The Wildcats used five extra-base hits and nine stolen bases in their five-inning victory over the Buckeyes.
Pitcher Taryne Mowatt earned the victory in the circle, tossing a complete game and surrendering five hits in as many innings of work.
The Arizona seniors started up their final year in cardinal and navy by accounting for both of UA’s first-inning runs. Three-time All-American center fielder Caitlin Lowe led off the top of the first with the first of her two singles in the game and put pressure on the Buckeye defense with her first of four stolen bases in the contest. One out later and with two-time All-American shortstop Kristie Fox at the plate, Lowe advanced to third on a wild pitch. Following a pair of walks to Fox and Jenae Leles, Chelsie Mesa lined a two-RBI single to right field, plating Lowe and Fox.
Staked to a 2-0 lead, Mowatt struck out five of the first seven batters she faced, taking her through the first two innings of the game.
In the third, Fox and Leles once shared the same fate at the plate as they both singled to lead off the frame. A Mesa sacrifice bunt advanced Fox and Leles into scoring position for Callista Balko. The junior catcher then laced a single to right to score Fox for UA’s third run of the game.
OSU responded in the bottom of the inning by breaking up Mowatt’s shot at a shutout with a Whitney Cooper solo home run.
Fueled by a pair of home runs, the Wildcats exploded for eight runs on six hits in the fourth. Adrienne Acton catalyzed the rally with a double down the left-field line. Lowe scored her outfield-mate Acton with a single and then proceeded to wreak even more havoc on the base paths. The Tustin, Calif., native stole second and third base, before coming into score on a throwing error on catcher Lauren Daykin. With freshman left fielder K’Lee Arredondo on second base after a walk and a steal, Fox cracked her first home run of the young season, bringing the game’s running tally to 9-1 in favor of the Wildcats.
After a Buckeye pitching change, Leles continued the UA rally with the first of her two doubles on the night. With Jill Malina pinch running for Leles, Mesa singled to put runners on the corners. The Wildcats executed a double-steal, scoring Malina and placing Mesa at second. Following a groundout and an RBI fielder’s choice, Sam Banister smashed a two-run homer to center for UA’s seventh and eighth runs of the inning.
Ohio State would register a two-run home run by freshman Sam Marder in the bottom of the fourth, and UA tacked on one more run with a Leles RBI double to plate Fox in the fifth.
- Caitlin Lowe stole four bases, bringing her career total to 112. She currently ranks fifth all time in Arizona program history. Amy Chellevold’s 113 swiped bags are fourth on the list.
Arizona Registers 6-2 Win over Nevada
TEMPE, Ariz. ?- The Arizona softball team defeated Nevada, 6-2, to conclude the first day its 2007 season and the Kajikawa Classic.
Freshman pitcher Sarah Akamine earned the victory in her collegiate debut by holding the Pack scoreless for the first six innings, before surrendering a pair of runs in the seventh. The hurler allowed only one earned run, six hits and no walks in six-plus innings of work.
UA used a two-out rally and a Nevada error to take a 4-0 first-inning lead. After the Wildcats loaded the bases on a Pack error and a pair of walks, Callista Balko flared a two-out single to right field for UA’s first two runs. First baseman Sam Banister followed with a two-RBI single of her own to give UA a 4-0 advantage out of the gate.
After a pair of scoreless innings, the Wildcats scratched out a run in the fourth. Cyndi Duran earned her first career hit for UA with an infield single, stole second and scored on a Caitlin Lowe double down the left field line. K’Lee Arredondo, who played in front of a hometown crowd, singled to center on a play that appeared to score Lowe, but a strong throw from UNR center fielder Sarah Hunt and a highly-contested play at the plate ended the inning.
In the fifth, Kristie Fox hit her second home run of the day with a line shot to dead-center field for UA’s sixth run of the game.
Up 6-2 in the seventh, Taryne Mowatt relieved Akamine and retired three of the four Wolfpack batters she faced to close the door on Opening Night of the 2007 Arizona softball season.
Up Next: Arizona continues play in the Kajikawa Classic with a 10:30 a.m. matchup versus Florida and a 3:30 p.m. tilt against 2006 NCAA finalist Northwestern. Both games will be played at ASU’s Farrington Stadium.