Cats Softball knocks off St. Francis and UTEP - Tucson News Now

Cats Softball knocks off St. Francis and UTEP

TUCSON, AZ -

Arizona edged Saint Francis 6-4 before run-ruling UTEP 9-1 on Day 3 of the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday.

Game 1 - #15 Arizona 6, Saint Francis 4

Arizona survived a scare from the Red Flash in Saturday's first game, escaping with a 6-4 victory and stranding the tying runs on base in the top of the seventh.

The offense hit four home runs, including two by Lauren Young, while Arizona's outfielders threw out two runners at the plate to help preserve Arizona's two-run victory.

Saint Francis outhit Arizona 12-9 in the contest.

Danielle O'Toole improved to 9-3 on the season with the victory. The junior pitched six innings and allowed two runs on nine hits with eight strikeouts and no walks. In an inning of relief, Nancy Bowling allowed two runs on three hits.

Saint Francis drew first blood with two runs on three hits in the top of the second.

Arizona finally got on the board with a Lauren Young solo homer to lead off the bottom of the fourth. UA kept the pressure on in the fourth with an error and a single to put runners on the corners. The Cats successfully executed a double steal to tie the game after four innings.

Mauga broke the 2-2 tie in the fifth with a solo homer before Young's second homer of the game, a two-run blast over the batter's eye in center, gave Arizona a 5-2 lead in the fifth. Perez added some insurance with a solo shot in the sixth before the Red Flash made things interesting in the seventh.

Saint Francis began the seventh home run, single, double to chase reliever Bowling from the game. O'Toole re-entered with the tying run at the plate and allowed an RBI single, though Alexis Dotson did cut down a runner at the plate to keep the two-run deficit. With two on and two out, Madison Cabell sent a fly ball to the warning track that was caught by Perez to end the game.

Game 2 - #15 Arizona 9, UTEP 1 (6 innings)
 
A late surge by Arizona's offense and a masterpiece from Taylor McQuillin led Arizona over UTEP, 6-1 in six innings on Saturday night.

McQuillin allowed one unearned run on just two hits in the complete-game effort. The freshman struck out nine Miners while not issuing a single free pass. She improved to 5-2 with the win.

After being held to one hit the first time through the order, UA plated nine runs in its final four offensive innings, including five in a walkoff effort in the sixth.

Katiyana Mauga remained hot at the plate, driving in three runs, giving her a team-high 30 in 2016.

Mandie Perez, who did not record a hit in the game, added two RBI in a productive night at the plate.

Arizona showcased its speed both at the plate and on the basepaths UA recorded five infield singles and stole three bases on the night. 

Two Arizona errors led to an unearned UTEP run in the top of the third to get the scoring going, but Arizona came right back with two runs on Katiyana Mauga's RBI single to put the Cats up 2-1 after three.

After putting its first two on in the bottom of the fourth, consecutive productive groundouts, including an RBI from Mandie Perez, gave UA a 3-1 lead. 

The Cats loaded the bases with no one out in the fifth and added to their lead on a Joelle Krist sacrifice fly that put the Cats on top 4-1.

Arizona plated five runs in the seventh, punctuated by Hillary Edior’s two-run opposite-field single to win the game.

Up Next: The Wildcat Invitational continues with five games on Saturday. Arizona plays at 4 and 6 p.m. vs. Saint Francis and UTEP, respectively.

Copyright 2016. Arizona Athletics. All Rights Reserved

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