UA softball splits with Washington, takes series
SEATTLE, Wash. -- The No. 17 Arizona softball team split a pair of games with fourth-ranked Washington in a road doubleheader on Friday, taking the series two games to one.
The Wildcats (25-10, 4-5 Pac-12) won the opener, which was a continuation of Friday's rain-suspended game, by a score of 5-3 before Washington (33-6, 4-5 Pac-12) took the late game 7-5 to avoid the sweep.
Game 1: Arizona 5, Washington 3
Picking up in the sixth inning a game that began Friday night, Arizona needed 32 minutes to complete its 5-3 win over Washington.
The Huskies had three hits in the two innings that were completed on Saturday but could not score. In the sixth, Washington put runners on the corners with two out. When a pitch sailed to the backstop, UW's Victoria Hayward took off for home, but Lini Koria whipped it to Brigette Del Ponte, who applied the tag to the sliding Hayward to end the inning.
Kenzie Fowler (10-3) recorded her 11th complete game of the season, allowing three earned runs on seven hits while striking out four and walking six.
Just two of Arizona’s five runs were batted in -- UA took advantage of three Washington errors -- and only one was charged to Washington starter Kaitlin Inglesby, who took the loss to drop to 16-4.
Koria hit her eighth home run in the fifth inning to tie the score at 1-1, and Shelby Pendley doubled in a run in UA's five-run fifth for her 36th RBI of the season.
In Friday’s action, Washington scored a run on just one hit in the first. A walk and a single put two on with two out, and a grounder up the middle was gloved by Pendley, but as she unsuccessfully attempted to get the force at second, Niki Williams came around third to score.
The Wildcats’ first hit of the game came in the fourth when Pendley knocked a one-out single to center. She was erased by a 6-4-3 double play that ended the frame.
Their second hit of the game was much more impactful, as Koria hit a drive to right field that cleared the fence to tie things up in the fifth. Karissa Buchanan then added a one-hit base hit and stole second to get herself in scoring position for the top of the lineup. Hallie Wilson struck out and Chelsea Suitos reached on a bunt single before, with runners on the corners and two out, Brigette Del Ponte grounded softly to Inglesby. The pitcher lost the handle as she tried to field it and then threw it away, allowing two runs to score. Jessica Spigner followed with a single and Shelby Pendley added a double to score pinch-runner Sam Davis. The relay in was mishandled by Kylee Lahners, which allowed the fifth run of the inning.
Two walks and a single loaded the bases with only one out for Washington in the fifth. Fowler walked in a run to make the score 5-2, and an RBI groundout by Shawna Wright brought in another run to make it 5-3 Arizona after five.
Two pitches into the sixth inning, the game was delayed by rain.
Game 2: Washington 7, Arizona 5
Arizona fell into an early hole and, despite a solid comeback effort, dropped the final game of the series to Washington.
The Huskies scored five runs in the bottom of the third inning on four straight two-out RBI singles to take a lead they would not relinquish.
UA scored four runs to get back into it, but an Inglesby two-run homer in the fourth that gave Washinton a 7-4 lead proved to be the difference.
Bryana Walker (8-1) got the start and the victory for the Huskies. Walker pitched five innings and left the bases loaded with no one out in the sixth, and she was charged with five runs on five hits. She also struck out six and walked three.
Walker was relieved in the sixth by Kasey Stanchek, who faced two batters and walked them both to force in two runs, which were credited to Walker. Stanchek was then relieved by Inglesby, who walked in the fifth Arizona run of the game, again credited to Walker, before getting out of the inning with the two-run lead intact. Inglesby pitched a scoreless seventh to record her fourth save of the season.
Freshmen Wilson and Pendley had Arizona’s only RBI hits, both solo homers in the third and fourth, respectively. Koria, Chelsea Goodacre and Buchanan all picked up RBIs with walks in the contest.
Shelby Babcock (16-5) was charged with the loss for Arizona. The sophomore pitched four innings and gave up seven runs on eight hits while striking out four and walking a pair. She was relieved by Jessica Spigner, who pitched a scoreless fifth and sixth.
The first hit of the game came in the bottom of the second, when Washington's Kylee Lahners lined a two-out single up the middle. Lahners would be stranded, however, when Babcock got Hooch Fagaly to strike out to end the frame.
Arizona’s first hit came with two out in third when Hallie Wilson rocketed a homer to right to give the Cats a 1-0 lead.
Washington answered in the bottom half, as the Huskies scored more runs in the frame than they had in the entire series to that point. UW scored five two-out runs on four consecutive hits to take a 5-1 lead.
Pendley homered to center in the fourth to cut the lead to 5-2.
Hayward singled to begin the bottom half of the inning and stole second to get a runner into scoring position with no one out. With two out, Inglesby homered to left center to make it 7-2.
UA loaded the bases with nobody out in the sixth. Three consecutive RBI walks brought the tying run to second, still with nobody out and the top of the order due up. The Cats were unable to capitalize, though, and the inning ended with the score still 7-5.
The Wildcats brought the heart of their order to the plate in the seventh. After two quick outs, Pendley walked and Arriola singled to bring the would-be go-ahead runner to the plate, but Koria fouled out to third base to end the game.