Babcock, UA softball knock off Washington
The 17th-ranked Arizona softball team handed fourth-ranked Washington its fourth consecutive loss Thursday night, as Shelby Babcock tossed a complete-game shutout to lead the Wildcats to a 2-0 victory.
With the win, UA improved to 24-9 overall and 3-4 in the Pac-12. Washington dropped to 32-5 overall and 3-4 in conference play.
Arizona scored the game's only two runs in the second on RBI hits from Kristen Arriola and Hallie Wilson. The Wildcats and Huskies each scattered five hits in the game; Wilson had three of Arizona’s.
Babcock (13-6) went the distance for Arizona and allowed no runs on five hits. She walked eight but stranded 14 Washington runners behind her while striking out four, including the final batter of the game with the tying run at first base. The Huskies had base runners in all seven innings and had two or more in all but one inning.
Kaitlin Inglesby (16-3) took the loss despite her complete-game, nine-strikeout outing. Inglesby walked four and hit two Wildcats.
Victoria Hayward and Nikia Williams each had a pair of hits for Washington. Kimberlee Souza was 1 for 1 with a triple.
Arizona’s nation-best defense (.985 fielding percentage) was superb behind Babcock. Thirteen of the 21 outs in the game were groundouts, including two key putouts of runners at third base. UA did not commit an error.
Both teams got runners to first and second in the first inning -- Arizona with nobody out -- but could not score.
In the second, Shelby Pendley led off with a single and was batted home by a double off the center-field wall from Arriola. A pair of walks loaded the bases with one out for Wilson, who brought in a run with a single through the right side.
Washington loaded the bases with one out in the third inning before a 5-2-3 double play ended the threat.
A walk and a single put the first two on for the Huskies in the fifth. Washington would eventually load the bases in the frame, but Babcock got out of it to preserve the 2-0 lead.
The teams continued to trade zeros on the scoreboard until in the ninth, when Babcock retired Washington’s 4-5 hitters to begin the frame before walking the next two batters. With the would-be winning run at the plate, Babcock struck out Courtney Gano to end the game.