SB: Cats sweep to 9-0 start - Tucson News Now

SB: Cats sweep to 9-0 start

(Cover photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics) (Cover photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics)
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TUCSON, AZ -

A lethal combination of speed and power helped Arizona run-rule Drake 8-0 in five innings to conclude the Hillenbrand Invitational.

Arizona stole three bases and registered four extra-base hits, including two Katiyana Mauga homers, helping the Wildcats get to 9-0 after the season's second weekend.

The victory was indicative of what has been working for Arizona. After nine games, the team has 20 stolen bases (in 20 attempts) and hit 15 home runs. The 20 stolen bases in nine games nears UA's 60-game total from 2014 (24) while the 15 homers are more than the Wildcats' opponents have total runs (11).

Nancy Bowling (3-0) pitched a complete-game shutout in the circle, going five innings and allowing just six Bulldogs to reach base.

Mauga hit her fourth and fifth home runs of the season, the second of which, a two-run homer in the fifth, ended the game via the mercy rule.

Kellie Fox went 2-for-3 with a pair of RBI in the game while Chelsea Suitos, Hallie Wilson and Mandie Perez each drove in a run.

Perez, in her third start of the season, doubled twice and improved her batting average to .600 on the season.

Despite scoring eight runs, the Wildcats also left plenty more on the bases, stranding 10 runners, including leaving the bases full twice, including the bottom of the first inning.

The Cats loaded the bases once again in the second, but a two-out, two-run single from Fox put Arizona on the board.

UA added three more in third. Perez doubled in Mercado with one out before Wilson and Suitos put together back-to-back two-out RBI singles to give UA a 5-0 lead.

The next two Mauga plate appearances would result in home runs as a solo shot in the fourth cleared the batter's eye in center and a two-run shot to left ended the game in the bottom of the fifth.

Arizona hits the road for the first time next week as five quality opponents await the Cats at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. Arizona opens the event with a pair of top-10 opponents, Kentucky and Oklahoma, on Thursday.

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