In Arizona's longest game of the season, UA was outlasted by Utah, which evened the series at one game apiece with a 7-3, nine-inning victory on Friday night at Hillenbrand.
The Wildcats stranded 14 runners in the game, four more than their previous high in 2016.
Arizona battled back from an early 2-0 deficit, plating an unearned run in the third and then using a clutch Ashleigh Hughes RBI double in the sixth to tie the game.
Arizona had its chances to win the game, but a baserunning error in the bottom of the seventh took away a runners at the corners, one out situation. The gaffe was followed by a single.
The wheels came undone for Arizona in the ninth as two errors led to four unearned runs and Utah scored five to take a 7-2 lead.
Taylor McQuillin pitched a career-high 8.1 innings and allowed six runs, three earned, on seven hits with eight strikeouts and seven walks. McQuillin fell to 8-4 with the loss. O'Toole entered to get the final two outs and allowed an unearned run on two hits.
Hannah Flippen hit her second home run in as many nights, a two-run opposite-field homer that put the Utes on top 2-0 in the third.
The Cats responded with an unearned run in the bottom half. Mandie Perez singled and scored on Katiyana Mauga's single, with help from a Utah error. Arizona would go on to put runners on the corners in the frame, but could not tie the game.
The Wildcats also put the tying run in scoring position in the fourth and the fifth, but could not find the timely hit, stranding three over the two innings.
UA finally broke through in the sixth. Nancy Bowling was hit by a pitch and Mandie Perez walked to put two on with two out for Hughes. A night after delivering the go-ahead single in the fifth, Hughes doubled in the tying run to make it 2-2. UA would load the bases, but strand them.
After McQuillin pitched a scoreless top of the seventh, Tamara Statman drew a walk to lead off the bottom half and was bunted into scoring position. Joelle Krist singled up the middle, but Statman was thrown out after over running third base. Alexis Dotson followed with a single to put the winning run in scoring position once again, but the Cats couldn't bring her home.
The Utes broke the tie in the ninth. A single and an intentional walk put two Utes on for Heather Bowen, who singled to left to give Utah a 3-2 lead. A dropped pop fly scored another Utah run. A single loaded the bases and then a bases-clearing error gave the Utes a 7-2 lead.
Arizona battled in the bottom of the ninth, loading the bases with no one out, but Hailey Hilburn entered to limit Arizona to just a single run and earn her second save of the year.
Up Next: Arizona and Utah meet in the rubber match on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. on the Pac-12 Networks.
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