Arizona Softball hosts another Top 10 series - Tucson News Now

Arizona Softball hosts another Top 10 series

TUCSON, AZ -

Third-ranked Arizona (43-3, 13-2 Pac-12) and sixth-ranked Oregon (37-4, 10-4 Pac-12) face off in a highly-anticipated top-10 matchup at Hillenbrand Stadium this week. 

In a battle between new money and old, The Ducks will come from their west egg to face the Wildcats, who won 10 Pac-10 Championships from 1992 to 2007. 

But recently, it's been the rest of the league looking toward the green light in Eugene, where the Ducks have won four straight Pac-12 titles. 

Oregon has lost two straight series after starting the season 35-0.

The Ducks feature one of the top pitching staffs in the country, led by freshman Maggie Balint with a 16-2 record, 0.86 ERA and 123 strikeouts in 97.1 innings pitched.

Oregon has three players hitting above .400, led by Nikki Udria, who is hitting .434 with nine homers and 43 RBI on the season.

Arizona had won 26 straight games before losing the final two games of a conference series last weekend at Utah.

Wildcats senior Katiyana Mauga has hit 86 career home runs in 221 games played. That's one shy of Arizona's record (87 - Stacie Chambers, 08-11), four shy of the Pac-12 record (90 - Stacey Nuveman, UCLA, 97-02) and nine shy of the NCAA record (95 - Lauren Chamberlain, Oklahoma, 12-15).

Danielle O'Toole is 23-2 with a 0.84 ERA for UA. O'Toole, who is third in the NCAA is victories and fifth in ERA, leads the Pac-12 in strikeouts (161).

The party's set for Hillenbrand Stadium this Friday (5 p.m.), Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (12 p.m.) with capacity crowds anticipated and national TV in the house.
 
Arizona is 82-27 all-time vs. Oregon, but the Ducks have had the upper hand of late, winning 14 of the last 18 meetings and the last six series, including a sweep in Eugene in 2016.

Copyright 2017 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.

David Kelly contributed to this story.

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