SB: Cats take game and series with wild 18-10 win - Tucson News Now

SB: Cats take game and series with wild 18-10 win

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

In a game that included 28 total runs on 28 hits, Arizona took down Washington 18-10 in six innings to take the series vs. the visiting Huskies on Sunday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Nineteen of the game's 28 runs were scored over the course of two half innings as Arizona (33-10, 8-4 Pac-12) scored nine runs in the bottom of the third before Washington (35-11, 7-7 Pac-12) responded with eight in the top of the fourth.

Arizona plated its 18 runs on 18 hits, its most hits in a game since registering 18 base knocks vs. St. Joseph's in a 20-1 victory on March 8, 2009.

Over their last seven conference games (6-1), the Wildcats have outscored their opponents a mind-boggling 89-34, marking their best seven conference-game stretch in school history. The Wildcats have 21 home runs in the seven games, including four on Sunday.

Katiyana Mauga entered the day with 17 home runs, tied for the Pac-12 lead with teammate Chelsea Goodacre as well as Washington's Chelsea Gano, who watched from the first base dugout as Mauga went deep twice, giving her a conference-best 19 home runs on the season.

Lauren Young and Kellie Fox also homered in the contest.

Mo Mercado had four hits in the game, including the walkoff single in the bottom of the sixth inning that put the game in the books. It was Mercado's second-career four-hit outing and just the second for any Wildcat this season. Mercado batted in two runs in the game.

Kellie Fox set a new season-best with five RBI in the game. It marked her third-career five-RBI outing.

The 18 runs marked the fifth time in school history that Arizona has scored 18 or more runs against top-20 competition, and the first time since Arizona defeated Louisville 18-4 (5 innings) on May 16, 2009.

After Saturday's injury to Trish Parks left Arizona's pitching staff shorthanded, Siera Phillips earned her first career start, facing one of the nation's top offenses. Phillips, an outfielder-turned-pitcher, entered the game with 22.1 career innings pitched. The junior picked up the victory, going 3.0 innings and allowing six runs on seven hits with three walks and one strikeout. Phillips improved to 2-0 on the year.

Michelle Floyd entered in the fourth and allowed four runs, just two earned, on three hits with five walks and four strikeouts, but settled after a rocky fourth to put zeros on the scoreboard in both the fifth and sixth innings.

Meanwhile, Washington went through five separate pitchers with starter Kasey Stancheck taking the loss to drop to 14-6 on the season.

Arizona got the scoring started in the first inning when Chelsea Goodacre's bases-loaded fly ball plated Hallie Wilson, whose single extended her hitting streak to 17 games.

The Huskies tied the game on an RBI double in the second inning.

In the bottom of the inning, the Cats had a runner at first with two out before two walks helped kickstart a two-out rally. With Fox at the plate and the bases loaded, Stancheck was called for an illegal pitch to score one. All it would do would cost Fox an RBI, though, as she homered on the next pitch, putting Arizona on top 5-1. Mauga followed with a home run as the Cats went back-to-back to take a five-run lead to the third.

Julia DePonte led off the third with a home run to cut Arizona's lead to 6-2.

And that's when things got interesting.

Over the game's next six outs, the teams combined for 17 runs, beginning with Arizona's nine-run third.

Mandie Perez and Mercado kicked off the frame with back-to-back singles before Young popped out for the first out. Alexis Dotson singled to load the bases before Wilson walked in a run and Suitos singled in another. Fox followed with a two-run single before Mauga hit her second homer of the game, a two-run shot to put Arizona up 13-2. UA wasn't done as Mercado picked up her second hit of the inning, an RBI single to plate pinch-runner Aireal Sakasegawa, followed by a Young sac fly to put Arizona on top 15-2.

The 13-run cushion was in serious jeopardy as UW responded with eight runs in the top of the fourth. Washington scored two runs and then loaded the bases before Arizona got the first out of the inning. An error plated the third run of the inning and kept the bases loaded for Taylor Van Zee, who drew an RBI walk for the fourth run of the inning. Ali Aguilar followed with a two-run single before another single reloaded the bases. Floyd walked in another before getting two groundouts, one of which brought in a run, to end the inning.

Fittingly, both teams followed with scoreless frames.

It appeared as though Arizona was headed for another scoreless half inning when its first two batters were retired to start the bottom of the fifth. Young ended the streak of five straight Wildcats retired with a home run to center field. A pair of free passes followed before Suitos singled in a run and Fox walked to put the winning run at third. Mauga grounded out sharply to keep the game going to the sixth, where the Wildcats win it on a Mercado walkoff single.

Arizona continues Pac-12 play next weekend when it heads to Salt Lake City to take on Utah. The two teams begin the series on Friday at 4 p.m. MDT. All three games will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.

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