Arizona pitchers limited No. 11 LSU to just three hits but the Tigers downed the Cats 3-0
Feb. 23, 2013
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -
Despite a solid effort in the circle, 14th-ranked Arizona softball fell in its final game of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic, 3-0 to No. 11 LSU (14-1). The Wildcats finished the tournament 2-3 and fell to 10-5 on the season.
Arizona's pitching duo of Nancy Bowling and Shelby Babcock held LSU to just three hits on the day, and zero after the second inning. The Tigers had just one baserunner in the final five innings of the game.
However, by then it was too late. LSU took a two-run lead three batters into the game with an Allison Falcon two-run home run and added to the lead with a two-out RBI double in the second inning.
Bowling was effective in four innings in her second career start. The freshman gave up three runs on three hits while walking three and striking out five. The loss dropped Bowling to 2-1.
Babcock entered in the fifth inning and was brilliant. Babcock needed just 41 pitches to retire the each of the nine batters she faced. The junior struck out three in three innings.
The offense, however, could not support its pitchers. The Wildcats, who outhit the Tigers 4-to-3 were not able to capitalize on a plethora of opportunities to score and were shut out for the third time in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
Arizona had two on with one out in the first and sixth innings while stranding a leadoff double in the fifth.
For the game, Arizona stranded six runners and left a staggering 35 on base for the tournament.
LSU pounced in the top of the first. Jacee Blades worked a 1-2 count to eight pitches before recording an infield hit with one out. The next batter, Falcon worked a 1-2 pitch for seven pitches before homering to left field to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead.
The deficit marked the third consecutive game that Arizona allowed runs in the top of the first inning.
After UA stranded a pair in the bottom of the first, Bowling walked the first batter she faced in the second. After a sacrifice bunt, A.J. Andrews doubled Kellsi Kloss home with two out to give LSU a three-run lead.
The only baserunner from that point forward would be a one-out walk issued by Bowling in the fourth.
Meanwhile, Arizona put runners on in the fourth, fifth and sixth innings but could not score. UA let a leadoff double go to waste in the fifth and didn't score after putting two on base with one out in the sixth.
Arizona returns home to host the Wildcat Invitational next weekend, March 1-3. The Wildcats welcome UC Riverside, Boston University and Portland State to Hillenbrand Stadium for the three-day, 10-game event.