TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona softball was swept Friday on the second day of the Kajikawa Classic, as Georgia Tech beat UA 2-1 and No. 21 Nebraska beat UA 11-10.
The sweep marked the first time the Wildcats (1-2) dropped two games in one day since 2008, when they lost to Northwestern and Texas A&M on Feb. 16 in the first games of 2008 at the Kajikawa Classic.
This year marks the third year in the last five that Arizona has recorded at least two losses in the first three games. In 2009, the team started 1-2 with losses to Kansas and Northwestern, and in 2008, the team started 0-3 with losses to Northwestern, Texas A&M and Nevada. Game 1: Georgia Tech 2, Arizona 1
Arizona got a run across in the first but then posted six straight zeros due to some squandered opportunities. Eighteen runners were stranded in the game, with Georgia Tech (2-0) passing up two bases-loaded opportunities.
A two-run single in the third inning by Georgia Tech’s Alysha Rudnik proved to be the difference in the game.
The Cats and the Yellow Jackets each recorded five hits.
Jessica Spigner batted in UA’s lone run and has now driven in a run in both career games at Arizona.
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A two-out rally got the scoring started, as UA recorded four
consecutive two-out hits, including an RBI single by Spigner, to take a
Georgia Tech then loaded the bases in the third with only one out, and Rudnik singled home pair of Yellow Jackets to put Arizona in its first
deficit of the season at 2-1.
Shelby Babcock took the loss, dropping to 1-1 on the season. The sophomore pitched the first five innings, allowing four hits and two runs, walking five and striking out two. Kenzie Fowler pitched the final two innings, with the junior allowing just one hit and striking out three.
Babcock got out of consecutive one-out, bases-loaded jams in the fourth and fifth to keep UA’s deficit at one run. Game 2: Nebraska 11, Arizona 10
Arizona jumped out to an early 5-0 lead and was batting in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and one out for its third and fourth hitters, threatening to break the game open and potentially run-rule Nebraska. The Cats would get just one run out of the situation, though, and Nebraska would go on to score nine straight runs to take the lead.
Lini Koria then tied an Arizona record with her third home run of the game with one out in the top of the seventh to cut the Cornhuskers’ lead to two. Kristen Arriola walked, Shelby Pendley reached on an error and Karissa Buchanan singled to load the bases with two out for Hallie Wilson. The freshman drove home all three runs with a double, giving Arizona a 10-9 lead.
Nebraska (1-1), needing a run to extend the game or two to win it, loaded the bases with nobody out in the bottom of the seventh. Tatum Edwards had an RBI single to tie the score, and Courtney Breault walked off with an RBI single to right.
Babcock (1-2) took the loss for UA. The sophomore relieved Fowler in the sixth after Fowler allowed nine runs, eight earned, walked six and struck out eight in her first start of the season. Babcock allowed two runs on five hits while walking two and striking out a pair in relief.
The Wildcats hit four home runs in the game, including the three by Koria. Pendley’s first career hit at Arizona was a long ball.
Koria led Arizona with four RBIs while Wilson chipped in three, all on her seventh-inning double. The pair each recorded three hits.
Three extra-base hits for UA in the second inning, including two homers, helped the Wildcats to a three-run inning. Koria got the scoring going when she lifted a home run to left field to lead off the frame, and following a Chelsea Goodacre single, Pendley homered to straight-away center field.
Koria bombed her second home run in the third to increase Arizona’s lead to 5-0.
Fowler ran into her first trouble of the game in the fourth when she walked two, hit a batter, allowed a single and then gave up a grand slam as Nebraska put up five runs to tie it.
In the fifth, a walk and a pair of singles loaded the bases with no one out for Nebraska, and a Fowler wild pitch brought home the tying run.
Nebraska broke the tie in the sixth with three runs. An error allowed a base runner to start the frame, and Ashley Guile later drove two runs home to give Nebraska an 8-6 lead. The Huskers would load the bases and score again on a Breault RBI single to extend the lead to 9-6.
In half of the 14 innings played Friday, Arizona’s opponent loaded the bases.