TUCSON, Ariz. – Freshman Mandie Perez smacked a two-run home run and made a diving catch in left field as sixteenth-ranked Arizona softball (21-9) bashed its way past 17th-ranked Washington (23-8) with seven runs on 10 hits. The Cats downed the Huskies 7-4 to even the series at one game apiece.
The Wildcats entered the day 0-6 against ranked opponents and scored a total of five runs in those six contests. The Cats bucked that trend with its seven run offensive outburst on Sunday.
Chelsea Goodacre had a two-RBI double and a home run in the game, giving her a team-best 12 home runs and 36 RBI on the season.
Shelby Babcock got the job done in the circle. The junior allowed four runs, three earned, on 10 hits. Babcock struck out two and walked four while improving to 10-3 on the year.
The seven runs surrendered by UW were the most allowed all season by the pitching staff. Bryana Walker allowed seven runs on 10 hits. Walker fell to 12-4 with the loss.
Perez homered, her third of the year. Perez and Kelsey Rodriguez batted in a pair of runs apiece in the contest.
Arizona needed just three batters to better its offensive output from Saturday night. In game one, the Cats plated just a single run, in inning one of game two, the Cats scored two runs in its first three batters. Hallie Wilson and Chelsea Suitos singled and both scored when Goodacre doubled to left center. Goodacre would be stranded in scoring position, though, when Walker fanned the next three Wildcats.
The Huskies tied the game with two runs in the third inning. A single, a walk and a passed ball put two runners in scoring position with one out. Hooch Fagaly and Kylee Lahners singled home a run apiece.
UA responded in the bottom half of the frame. Two, two-out singles following a walk loaded the bases with two out for Kelsey Rodriguez. The junior's line drive single to center scored a pair, allowing Arizona to retake the lead at 4-2.
Washington answered in the top of the fourth in the back-and-forth affair. Whitney Jones led off the inning with a walk. Babcock got the next two Huskies out before Missy Taukeiaho worked Babcock for 14 pitches, the final of which she parked past the left field fence to tie the game at four.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the fifth. Goodacre led off the frame with a home run to give the Cats a one run edge. Kelsey Rodriguez singled with two out and Perez homered to right field to give the Cats a 7-4 lead.
The Huskies had plenty of opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings. UW loaded the bases with no one out in the sixth before Babcock induced a ground ball off the bat of Taukeiaho. Lauren Young collected the grounder, threw it home for one out and Kelsey Rodriguez flipped it to first for the double play.
In the seventh, Babcock allowed a single and a walk to the first two batters she faced, bringing the potential tying run to the plate with no one out. Kimberlee Souza, who homered twice on Saturday, hit a ground ball to third, and for the second consecutive inning, Young triggered a double play to get the Cats out of trouble.
The rubber match between the two clubs will take place Monday at 7:00 p.m. PDT. The game can be seen live on the Pac-12 Network and heard live on 1290 AM.
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