UA softball splits with Ohio State, LMU
PALM SPRINGS, Calif. – The 14th-ranked Arizona softball team split its two games on the second day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic to move to 10-4 on the season. UA was blanked 6-0 by Ohio State before downing Loyola Marymount 5-3 in the second game of the doubleheader.
Game 1: Ohio State 6, No. 14 Arizona 0
Arizona left 10 batters on base and had two runners thrown out at the plate in a shutout loss to Ohio State (8-4) to open the day.
The Wildcats, who had multiple runners on base in all but two innings, could not get a hit with a runner in scoring position and failed to score for the second time in three games; Arizona was shut out by Oklahoma on Friday night.
UA became the third ranked opponent Ohio State has defeated this season (No. 8 Georgia, No. 16 Lousiville).
Hallie Wilson had half of Arizona’s four hits and walked twice to lead Arizona’s offensive attack.
Estela Piñon pitched the game’s first 4 1/3 innings and allowed six runs, four earned, on five hits while walking two and striking out five. The junior took the loss to fall to 3-2 on the year. Nancy Bowling pitched the final 2 2/3 innings and allowed just one hit while striking out four of the nine batters she faced. The pitching staff was hurt by three errors committed behind it.
For Ohio State, Alex DiDomenico went the distance and earned the win to improve to 4-0. The Buckeye hurler allowed just four hits but walked four batters and struck out five in the shutout.
Ohio State took advantage of a couple of Wildcat errors in the top of the first. Back-to-back one-out fielding errors and a subsequent groundout put two runners in scoring position for the Buckeyes. A wild pitch scored the game’s first run and Megan Coletta’s RBI single made it 2-0 in the first.
The Wildcats appeared poised to respond in the bottom half, though, when a walk, a single and a passed ball put runners at second and third with no one out for the heart of the UA lineup. Arizona would be held off the board, however, when DiDomenico induced three weak grounders.
Arizona would go on to put runners in scoring position in each inning from the third to the sixth frames. Ohio State, meanwhile, added to its lead.
The bases were clear with two out in the fourth inning before Leesa Gresham knocked a double and moved into scoring position on a passed ball. Gresham came into score on Shelby Pickett’s RBI knock.
Taylor Watkins led off the fifth inning with a home run to center field. Two of the next three batters walked, signaling the end for Piñon. Bowling entered to strikeout the first batter she faced before allowing a two-RBI triple to Cammi Prantl that gave the Buckeyes a 6-0 lead.
Game 2: No. 14 Arizona 5, Loyola Marymount 3
Chelsea Goodacre launched two home runs and drove in four runs to lead the 14th-ranked Wildcats to a bounceback win.
It was the sophomore’s third multi-homer game of her career. Her first-inning three-run shot gave the Wildcats a lead they would not relinquish.
Arizona managed five runs on 11 hits while the pitching staff limited Loyola Marymount to just three runs on three hits. The three hits tied for the fewest allowed on the season.
Shelby Babcock was credited with the win after going five innings and allowing three runs, two earned, on only one hit. The junior walked five and struck out five and improved to 5-2 on the year. Nancy Bowling pitched the final two innings of scoreless ball to earn her first career save. Bowling allowed two hits and struck out four of the eight batters she faced.
Eight different Wildcats recorded hits in the contest, led by Hallie Wilson, Chelsea Suitos and Goodacre with two each.
LMU scored in the first inning thanks to a pair of UA errors. Breeanna Sandoval reached on an error and scored on another to give the Lions a 1-0 lead in the top of the first.
Arizona, though, responded quickly in the bottom half of the inning. A couple of singles put two on for Goodacre, who took a 3-1 pitch over the right-center field fence to give the Cats a 3-1 lead. They weren’t done. Kelsey Rodriguez walked and moved to second on a groundout. Lauren Young singled her home to give Arizona a 4-1 lead.
The Wildcats would add to their lead in the third when Goodacre led off the frame with her second homer of the game.
Loyola Marymount inched closer with a run in the fourth. Babcock issued a leadoff walk before retiring the next two batters. Sterling Shuster doubled down the left field line to score a run and bring the Lions within three.
Arizona appeared poised to break it open in the fourth when it loaded the bases with no one out for its 3-4-5 hitters. A fielder’s choice and a line-out double play kept Arizona off the scoreboard in the fourth.
A leadoff walk the sixth inning chased Babcock in favor of Bowling, who promptly gave up back-to-back singles to put the tying runners on base. A sacrifice bunt put the runners in scoring position with one out. Bowling would retire the next five batters, the final four by way of the strikeout, to secure the victory and earn her first career save.