Arizona notebook: Cats go 'grrr' as freshman starts

2013-05-19T00:00:00Z 2014-07-02T12:09:20Z Arizona notebook: Cats go 'grrr' as freshman startsPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
May 19, 2013 12:00 am  • 

COLLEGE STATION, Texas - Whitney Canion shut out the Arizona Wildcats on Friday.

She didn't get a chance for an encore Saturday.

Rather, Baylor coach Glenn Moore opted to start a freshman, Heather Stearns, against the UA in an elimination game Saturday night.

The 5-foot-10 right-hander was 10-4 with a 2.02 ERA entering the game, but it still seemed like a risky move. After the Bears won, 8-4, it looked a lot better.

"I think everyone knows why I chose her - she can pitch," Moore said. "She's going to win a lot of games for us at Baylor.

"To get your first win against the University of Arizona, that's a big deal."

Canion, who was available in relief, had pitched seven innings in a loss to Texas A&M earlier in the day.

"Facing a good Arizona team, nerves were probably running a little bit high," said Stearns, who hadn't pitched in two weeks.

UA shortstop Brigette Del Ponte was asked if the Wildcats had more confidence entering the game than they would have against the lefty Canion.

"Confidence? Not really," she said. "I would say it was more of, drive, because the reason they're not throwing Canion is because they were thinking they were going to win for tomorrow.

"They were kinda looking through us, which, kinda, I mean, that was kinda, grrr."

Walk-off winners

With her team down three heading to the seventh, Jo Evans joked with them about what a great memory winning the game would be.

The Texas A&M coach was proven right when the Aggies hit back-to-back homers in the bottom of the seventh inning to first tie and then beat Baylor, 6-5, early Saturday to advance to today's final day of the NCAA tournament regional against the same Bears.

"Our hitters just didn't get discouraged," Evans said. "It was a huge part of why they were able to make adjustments later."

The Aggies (41-15) tied the game when, with two on, freshman Cali Lanphear took Canion deep.

"I was on deck," junior Nicole Morgan said, "and I just knew Cali was going to hit it out. There was no doubt in my mind.

"Once she did it, I had a chance to relax." Morgan, the next batter, won the game with a walk-off home run off a Canion changeup.

A&M needs to win only one more game - in two tries against Baylor today - to advance to likely face Oklahoma in the super regionals.

Inside pitch

• In the third inning, Del Ponte was thrown out at home after a throwing error from the outfield turned her double into something more. She rounded third base and thought she could score.

Instead, she was out by 10 feet.

"She was wearing green," the shortstop said of the Baylor player covering home. "I swear it was camouflage.

"That woulda been really cool. It woulda made ESPN."

• After an extra-inning loss to the Arizona Wildcats, Penn wants the world to know that it belongs.

"I know Penn's gotten a little press for being in the Ivy league and for being here," first baseman Georgia Guttadauro said. "I think (Friday) we were a little stunned by the (Texas A&M) fans.

"We aren't out of our league with the level of play, and I think we showed that today. We got the butterflies out and we played Penn softball."

• UA coach Mike Candrea thought the UA might have had an edge because Baylor had to wait three hours between games, and the Wildcats didn't.

"I've seen a lot of things happen when teams have to play back-to-back," he said. "Even at the College World Series, I used to hate that day off."

College Station regional

Friday

• Game 1: Baylor 7, Arizona 0

• Game 2: Texas A&M 12, Penn 0, 5 innings

Saturday

• Game 3: Texas A&M 6, Baylor 5

• Game 4: Arizona 3, Penn 2, 8 inn.

• Game 5: Baylor 8, Arizona 4

Today

• Game 6: Texas A&M (41-15) vs. Baylor (41-15), 12:30 p.m. (Game 7 to follow, if necessary at 3 p.m.)

Contact reporter Patrick Finley at pfinley@azstarnet.com or 573-4658. On Twitter @PatrickFinley

Copyright 2014 Arizona Daily Star. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Free Wildcats Sports Newsletter

University of Arizona sports news and blog headlines, delivered daily


Follow the Arizona Daily Star

Most Popular

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...