UA SOFTBALL

Arizona softball: Bruins' 7 homers give Cats whiplash

2013-04-20T00:00:00Z 2014-07-08T15:32:03Z Arizona softball: Bruins' 7 homers give Cats whiplashPatrick Finley Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star
April 20, 2013 12:00 am  • 

Ball after ball sailed over the Hillenbrand Stadium fence Friday night, like circus performers out of a cannon.

With each thud - off the batter's eye, the bleachers or the concrete - came cheers and songs from the Arizona Wildcats' most hated rivals.

UCLA walloped seven home runs Friday night, hammering two different UA pitchers in a 13-3 victory that evened the three-game series in front of 2,152 fans.

"You can't defend seven home runs," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "My God. That kinda takes you outta the game."

It's unchartered territory for the Wildcats.

In the past eight days - four games - the Wildcats have given up 13 home runs.

In 2001, the UA allowed 12.

All year.

The seven homers tied UCLA's all-time record, and are believed to be the most the Wildcats have ever allowed in a game. The UA gave up five in a 2011 game against Oregon.

"Game got ugly quick," Candrea said.

Ally Carda, who launched one in her last at-bat Thursday night, did the same in her first Friday, giving the Bruins a 1-0 lead.

Mysha Sataraka led off the second with a homer. Five batters later, Stephany LaRosa joined in the fun, ripping one over the wall with two outs and two on to give UCLA a 5-0 edge and chase starter Estela Piñon from the game.

Piñon allowed five runs on four hits in 2 1/3 innings. Reliever Nancy Bowling allowed 12 hits and eight runs, six earned, in 4 2/3 innings.

Neither looked comfortable, Candrea said. Piñon seemed to pace around the circle, while Bowling was talking to herself.

"I think they get defeated a little bit," catcher Chelsea Goodacre said, "whereas they need to kinda have a little bit of a backbone and say, 'So what?' And move on."

The Bruins' fourth homer of the game, and third of the second inning, came after an assist. Bowling got the first player she faced, B.B. Bates, to line out to third for what appeared to be the second inning's final out.

But the first-base umpire Christina Drumm ruled Bowling had thrown an illegal pitch, sending Bates back to the plate.

She walked, bringing up Carda, who launched her second of the game and third in as many at-bats to put UCLA ahead 7-0.

"You can't defend home runs," Bowling said.

Gracie Goulder added a solo blast in the third. The Wildcats (28-18, 5-9) matched the run in the bottom half when Kelsey Rodriguez singled home Hallie Wilson.

Offense hibernated for the next two innings before Bates - who hit a grand slam Thursday night - led off the sixth with her 17th homer of the season. One batter later, Brittany Moeai then gave the Bruins (29-15, 6-11) their seventh long ball of the night - and a 10-1 lead.

Staring at their fourth mercy-rule defeat of the season - and only their 12th since 1991 - the Wildcats rallied for two in the sixth. Lauren Young's two-run homer ensured the two teams would play the seventh.

The Bruins piled onto their lead, scoring once when Alex Lavine misplayed Carda's liner with two on and one out, and twice more on a Sataraka double after Bowling loaded the bases.

Piñon re-entered the game to face Jessica Hall, the pitcher who held the Wildcats to six hits - yet was the only Bruins starter to not record a hit all night. Hall lined out, and so did the next batter, leaving the score at 13-3.

"We just threw too many fat pitches that were spinning, but spinning and not moving," Candrea said.

It might get worse.

Shelby Babcock, who threw 10 innings Thursday, sprained her left foot during the celebration at home plate after Wilson's walk-off homer in the series opener. Candrea hopes she could pitch tonight, when the Wildcats host UCLA at 6.

"Just forget about today," Bowling said. "Go out there and show them how we know how to play.

"And just keep the ball in the ballpark."

On StarNet: See the new copper batting helmets and hear Mike Candrea talk about 20 years at Hillenbrand at azstarnet.com/video

Today

• Who: UCLA vs. Arizona at Hillenbrand Stadium

• When: 6 p.m.

• TV: Pac-12 Arizona

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

Featured businesses

View more...

Deals, offers & events

View more...