Cats break out the brooms on Texas - Tucson News Now

Cats break out the brooms on Texas

TUCSON, Ariz. -- Sixth-ranked Arizona softball finished off a sweep of Texas on Sunday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium, defeating the Longhorns 4-2 in the series finale.

Arizona's offense managed just three hits in the game, but the Cats took advantage of four Texas errors to plate a pair of unearned runs, which proved to be the difference.

Danielle O'Toole settled in after giving a two-run homer four batters into the game, firing six straight scoreless innings, ensuring Arizona's four runs on three hits would be enough for her 10th victory of the year. O'Toole allowed two runs on five hits with seven strikeouts and no walks in her eighth complete game of the year. O'Toole improved to 10-1 on the season.

Brooke Bolinger was terrific in relief on Sunday, pitching 5.2 innings of one-hit ball after starter Tiarra Davis gave up three runs and got just one out. Bolinger allowed one unearned run on one hit with two walks and one strikeout. Davis gave up three runs, two earned, on two hits and fell to 2-5 on the season with the loss.

Bolinger, Davis and Saturday starter Paige von Sprecken limited the Arizona offense to just nine runs on 17 hits in the series after UA entered the weekend third in the country in batting average.

However, Arizona pitchers O'Toole and Taylor McQuillin were able to outduel their Texas counterparts in all three games, allowing three total runs in the three games. 

The Wildcats improved to 18-1 on the season with the sweep of the Longhorns, who fell to 11-9 on the year.

Texas used a two-run homer in the top of the first to take the early 2-0 lead before the Cats struck for three in the bottom half to take the lead.

Mandie Perez and Alyssa Palomino walked, an error loaded the bases for Mo Mercado, who singled in a pair to tie the game. Jessie Harper followed with an RBI single to right to give Arizona the 3-2 lead after the first inning.

Mercado led the bottom of the third inning off with a single and moved to second on a wild pitch. Nancy Bowling hit a deep fly ball to center for the second out, Mercado tagged and headed for third. The throw sailed and Mercado scored to put the Cats up 4-2 after three innings.

Up Next: Arizona embarks on an 11-game road trip, beginning in Southern California with the CSUN/LMU tournament. Arizona faces CSUN and Quinnipiac to open up the road trip on Friday beginning at 11:30 a.m. MST on Friday.

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