Arizona softball mercied by UCLA

Arizona softball mercied by UCLA

Published Apr. 21, 2013 2:31 a.m. ET

TUCSON, Ariz. – After splitting the first two games of the series, the 22nd-ranked Arizona softball team (28-19, 5-10 Pac-12) was routed 9-1 in six innings by 18th-ranked UCLA (29-15, 6-12 Pac-12), on Saturday evening in the finale at Rita Hillenbrand Stadium.

Arizona’s early 1-0 lead in the second inning quickly disappeared, as UCLA responded with six runs over the following two innings. The Bruins tacked on three more in the top of the sixth to seal the game and the series.

After recording a season-high 10 strikeouts in Thursday’s game against UCLA, Shelby Babcock got the start in the circle again for the series fianle. The Arizona junior went five innings, allowing nine runs, six earned, on eight hits while striking out six. Babcock’s record dropped to 15-8 for the season.

Estela Piñon replaced Babcock in the top of the sixth to finish the game.

Arizona’s offense managed to only score one run and was limited to five hits by UCLA’s Ally Carda, who tossed 85 pitches and recorded a complete game.

UA went ahead in the bottom of the second, scoring its only run on a Mandie Perez base hit. A walk from Lauren Young and a single by Brigette Del Ponte put runners on first and second, and Perez followed with a base hit to score Young and record her 25th RBI of the year.

UCLA immediately scored three runs in the top half of the third to claim the lead. Stephany LaRosa hit a two-run home run off Babcock to make it 2-1, and after an UCLA walk and single, Arizona committed a throwing error that allowed the Bruins to plate a third run.

In the top of the fourth, UCLA added another three runs from a bases-loaded hit batter and an Arizona error that brought in two runs to make it 6-1.

Babcock’s night was finished when she surrendered a three-run homer in the top of the sixth that extended UCLA’s lead to 9-1. Piñon came into the circle and went 1-2-3.

It was the first mercy-rule loss for the Wildcats at Hillenbrand Stadium since 1999, when then-No. 1 UCLA shut out Arizona 8-0 in five innings.