Mauga's Walkoff Backs McQuillin's Gem - Tucson News Now

Mauga's Walkoff Backs McQuillin's Gem

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Katiyana Mauga hit a two-out, two-strike RBI double to right center field to score Mandie Perez and send Arizona home walkoff winners for the first time in 2017. The walkoff double propelled Arizona to a 2-1 victory over Texas on Saturday night in front of a season-high 2,404 fans at Hillenbrand Stadium.

The victory secured the series win over the Longhorns for Arizona; The Wildcats are now 17-1 on the season. UA and UT conclude the series on Sunday at noon.

Mauga's walkoff ended a pitchers' duel between Arizona's Taylor McQuillin and Texas' Paige von Sprecken. McQuillin got the best of her UT counterpart, allowing one run on seven hits with eight strikeouts and just one walk. Von Sprecken gave up two runs, one earned, on eight hits with four strikeouts and two walks.

McQuillin improved to 4-0 on the season in her first action in 13 days after returning from arm soreness. McQuillin lowered her season ERA to 1.14.

On a night where freshmen led the way for most of the night, Arizona's seniors were the difference in the seventh. UA freshmen had recorded six of UA's seven hits prior to Mauga's walkoff to score fellow senior Perez. The walkoff victory was Arizona's first since March 26, 2016, when Mauga's walkoff homer defeated Utah.

Dejah Mulipola led the UA offense, posting her second three-hit game in her young Wildcat career. The freshman leads all UA hitters with nine multi-hit contests 18 games into her Wildcat career. The catcher leads the Pac-12 with a .532 batting average.

After McQuillin got out of a two-on, one-out jam in the top of the first, von Sprecken nearly escaped a bases-loaded one-out jam in the bottom half. Two walks and a single loaded the bases for UA with one out. The Cats scratched across the first run of the game on a two-out error on a ground ball off the bat of Jessie Harper.

After leading the bases loaded in the first, the Cats loaded them up with one out one again in the fourth, but could not score.

Texas tied the game with a two-out RBI single in the fifth.

In the bottom of the seventh, Perez was hit by a pitch with one out and moved to second on Mulipola's third hit of the game. Von Sprecken struck out Alyssa Palomino for the second out before Mauga took her 2-2 offering the other way for the walkoff double.

Up Next: The Cats go for the series sweep on Sunday at noon at Hillenbrand Stadium.

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