Cats Defeat Utah in Pac-12 Home Opener - Tucson News Now

Cats Defeat Utah in Pac-12 Home Opener

TUCSON, AZ -

Fueled by another Danielle O'Toole gem and two timely hits, 18th-ranked Arizona softball took game 1 from Utah, 3-1, in its Pac-12 home opener on Thursday night at Hillenbrand Stadium.
 
O'Toole was brilliant once again, limiting the Utes (21-10, 3-1 Pac-12) to a single run in the top of the first inning before shutting them out the remainder of the contest. O'Toole, the Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week, struck out four and walked two in the complete-game effort. She improved to 12-5 on the year.
 
Utah starter Miranda Viramontes (5-3) took the loss despite allowing just two hits over five innings.
 
The Utes had pressure on O'Toole all night, putting a runner on in every inning against the redshirt junior. O'Toole rose to the occasion, though, limiting the Utes to a 1-for-14 mark with runners on base, including 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position.
 
Arizona (21-9, 3-1 Pac-12), meanwhile, capitalized on its few opportunities vs. Viramontes. The Cats had just three at-bats with runners in scoring position, one of which occurred in the fifth.
 
With the bases loaded and two out, Ashleigh Hughes, who had struck out twice vs. Viramontes previously, poked a single up the middle to plate two and give Arizona a 3-1 lead it would not surrender.
 
Hughes' single was one of just two hits on the night for the UA offense. Viramontes took a no-hitter into the bottom of the fourth until Katiyana Mauga hit her team-best 11th homer, a line drive to left center, to tie the game.
 
Mauga now sits at 57 career home runs, three shy of becoming the seventh Wildcat, and third junior, to reach 60 home runs.
 
Four pitches into the game, the Utes took a 1-0 lead on Hannah Flippen's solo homer to left center.
 
Arizona did not have a hit until Mauga’s long ball with one out in the fourth to tie the game.
 
UA's second hit of the game followed two walks and a hit-by-pitch that loaded the bases in the fifth. Ashleigh Hughes singled in a pair to put the Cats on top 3-1 after five.
 
Errors in both the sixth and seventh innings gave the Utes late life, but O'Toole got out of trouble in both frames, much thanks to some terrific defense in the circle.

Copyright 2016. Arizona Athletics. All Rights Reserved.

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