Young and Bowling Power Cats to Mercy Victory over Cal - Tucson News Now

Young and Bowling Power Cats to Mercy Victory over Cal

TUCSON, Ariz. – Lauren Young hit a three-run home run to kick off her senior weekend while redshirt junior Nancy Bowling hit a pinch-hit grand slam just hours after receiving her degree at Arizona's first annual Student-Athlete Convocation, helping Arizona run-rule California, 8-0 in game one of the three-game series.

The storybook homers drove in seven of Arizona's eight runs, helping support another gem from Danielle O'Toole, who pitched her seventh shutout of the year.

O'Toole (W, 21-10) allowed just two hits and struck out six in the five-inning shutout. Over her last three starts, the reigning Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week is 3-0 with three complete-game victories, allowing just one run in the process (0.41 ERA).

The game was a matchup of the Pac-12's two top ERAs, pitting O'Toole vs. Pac-12 leader Nisa Ontiveros (L, 15-6). The two did not disappoint early, trading zeros on the scoreboard and racking up the strikeouts. Both starters fanned six in the contest.

Entering the bottom of the fourth, the teams were deadlocked, 0-0. Katiyana Mauga drew a one-out walk before Tamara Statman was hit by an 0-2 Ontiveros pitch, setting the scene for Young.

In the final Pac-12 series of the senior's career, Young launched a three-run home run off the batter's eye in center to get the Cats (35-18, 12-10 Pac-12) on the scoreboard. It was her sixth home run of the season and third in her last seven home games.

Ashleigh Hughes led off the bottom of the fifth with a single to chase Ontiveros. Mo Mercado met her replacement, Katie Sutherland-Finch, with a single before Mauga walked to load the bases. The second pitch to the pinch hitter Bowling landed in Candrea's Corner beyond left field for Bowling's first career Pac-12 home run and first career grand slam. Four batters later, Watson singled to center to score Young and give the Wildcats an 8-0, mercy-shortened victory.

After scoring fewer than two runs in three of four games entering last Sunday’s matchup with Oregon State, the victory marks the second consecutive run-rule victory for Arizona. In its last two games, Arizona has outscored its opponents – Oregon State and Cal (30-21-1, 10-10-1) – 18 to 1.

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