TEMPE, Ariz. ?- The No. 5 Arizona softball team (3-0) defeated the No. 4 Texas Longhorns (2-1), 1-0, in Arizona’s third game of the season. UA scored the game’s first and only run in the top of the first, and used a stellar pitching performance from sophomore Taryne Mowatt (2-0) to clinch the victory.
UA tallied eight hits and no errors in the field, while the Longhorns scratched two hits, while committing one error in the field.
Mowatt came off of yesterday’s two-hit shutout of Cal State Northridge with another gem. Mowatt struck out 14 Longhorns and gave up two hits in her second complete game in as many starts. The sophomore from Corona, Calif., allowed just three batters over the minimum, surrendering one walk in addition to the two base hits. UT sophomore Meagan Denney (1-1), who pitched all seven innings for the Longhorns, drew the loss.
Arizona jumped on Denney in the first, when Caitlin Lowe led off with a walk and stole base, followed by an Autumn Champion double, placing runners at second and third. With no out and a full count, Kristie Fox grounded out to second, scoring Lowe for the first and only run of the game.
In the bottom half of the frame, Texas mounted its largest threat, as the leadoff batter reached on a walk and a two-out single gave UT two of its three base runners in the game. Mowatt beared down, however, striking out Kelly Melone to bring the first inning to a close.
In the bottom of the third, Lowe made the play of the game, and possibly of the year, when she knocked down the temporary fencing in center field to haul in a would-be Tina Boutelle home run.
Arizona extended its lead in the top of the fifth, when Champion led off with a bunt single, followed by a Fox infield hit. Texas’ Boutelle returned the favor of robbery, when she made a diving catch to prevent Chelsie Mesa from getting her first extra-base hit as a Wildcat. UT’s Denny worked out of the jam, striking out the next two Wildcat batters to end the threat.
The Wildcats kept the pressure on in the top of the sixth, as Laine Roth registered her third hit of the day, but was thrown out trying to stretch it into a double. Two batters later, Adrienne Acton reached first on and error, and consequently stole second base and moved to third on a wild pitch. Once again, UA was unable to bring her in, leaving the score 1-0, Arizona.
Things heated up in the top of the seventh, when knocked a one-out single, bringing up Mesa. The Yuma, Ariz., native socked a line-drive home run over the right field wall, giving UA an apparent 3-0 lead. Following the home run, UT head coach Connie Clark protested that UA did not have first and last names written out on the lineup card. The umpire crew ruled Mesa out, returning Fox to first.
Although UA scored only one run, the Wildcats had two or more runners on base in six of the seven innings. UA stranded 10 runners to Texas’ three.