Mauga hits No. 88 as #3 Arizona Softball clinches series

Mauga hits No. 88 as #3 Arizona Softball clinches series
(Photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics)
(Photo courtesy: Arizona Athletics)

TUCSON, AZ - A day after edging No. 6 Oregon in a pitcher's duel, 2-0, third-ranked Arizona plated 10 runs on 12 hits and fought off a late Oregon surge to win 10-7 and clinch the series over the Ducks.

Katiyana Mauga broke the Arizona record with her 88th career home run, her second of the series and fifth in UA's last four games.

Oregon scored all seven of its runs on three home runs, two from Gwen Svekis, who brought in five runs with two swings of the bat. Danica Mercado added a two-run homer in the sixth.

Arizona, the nation's leader in home runs, plated just one of its 10 runs via the long ball, but a special long ball at that.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Mauga drilled her 88th career home run, an opposite-field shot that meant much more than the 7-5 lead it gave the Wildcats at the time. Mauga passed Stacie Chambers for first place in Arizona history in career homers and moved alone into third place in NCAA history.

Mauga is now two back of the Pac-12 record and seven shy of the NCAA mark. No. 88 was No. 21 on the year for Mauga, who is second in the country in 2017.

The homer was one of three hits on the day for the senior, who is now 22-for-her-last-43 (.512) with 11 home runs over Arizona's last 14 games. The three hits marked a season-high for Mauga, who picked up her eighth career three-hit outing.

Reyna Carranco also notched three hits for UA as her late-season surge continues. Carranco went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and now leads the conference hitting .455 in league play.

Taylor McQuillin earned the victory for Arizona. McQuillin allowed six runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks. She improved to 15-1 on the season. O'Toole got the final five outs of the game to earn her first save of 2017.

Game Notes:

  • Arizona’s 45-3 start is its best 48-game start since 2004 (46-2).
  • The Wildcats are 15-2 in Pac-12 play, their best 17-game conference start since 2004 (15-2).
  • During ESPN’s broadcast of the game, the NCAA DI Softball Committee initial top 10 was released. Arizona was No. 2 behind Florida.
  • Katiyana Mauga has five home runs in her last four games and 11 in her last 44 at-bats. She’s batting .512 with 24 RBI in UA’s last 14 games.
  • Arizona’s 12 hits were the most vs. a top-10 team since May 3, 2013 (12) in a 10-9 win over No. 3 ASU.
  • The victory was Arizona’s 25th straight win at Hillenbrand Stadium, the sixth longest streak in the stadium’s history.
  • The Wildcats are now 9-3 on the season vs. ranked opponents and 6-1 against top-10 teams.
  • The series victory is Arizona’s first vs. Oregon since 2010. Now, UA will look for its first sweep over the Ducks since 2007.
  • Mauga’s three RBI on Saturday moved her into fifth in Arizona history with 249 career RBI. She surpassed Mackenzie Vandergeest, who, along with around 30 other alumnae, is in attendance this weekend.

Arizona will go for the series sweep over the sixth-ranked Ducks on Saturday at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

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