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Pitching fails Arizona softball late in home loss to Washington

That's 7 straight losses for the Wildcats

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Carlie Scupin
Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Arizona had just nine hits last weekend against Arizona State. The week before it was just five in the three-game series at UCLA. In this week’s series opener against Washington, the Wildcats’ offense finally showed up, connecting on 11 hits.

The pitching just couldn’t hold on, though, as Washington came back in the final innings to take the 12-7 victory.

The Huskies didn’t come in with a formidable record. They were 20-10, including 1-5 in Pac-12 play. That was just slightly better than Arizona’s 19-10, 0-6 record.

The difference was how competitive those games have been. While Arizona was getting run-ruled and no-hit in back-to-back series, Washington was simply getting edged out in tight contests.

The Wildcats’ offense looked like it had recovered from its prolonged slump. Through five innings, it was a close battle.

Blaise Biringer, who had just three multi-hit games this season, went 3-for-3 from the plate. Carlie Scupin hit her 13th home run of the year, and the team had its first game with double digit hits since March 12.

Arizona took its first lead since March 13 when Sophia Carroll reached on a single in the bottom of the third inning, then was knocked in by an RBI single from Allie Skaggs.

The Huskies tied it up in the top of the fourth, but Arizona scored two more off a two-RBI home run off the bat of Paige Dimler in the bottom of the inning.

“I thought they fed off each other,” head coach Caitlin Lowe said about the Arizona hitters. “We have to figure out a way to transfer that from offense to defense, from defense to offense, and use the momentum throughout the entire game instead of just one-sided,

Every time one team threw a punch, the other side responded. Washington put four on the board in the top of the fifth. For the past two weeks, the Wildcats have found that to be an insurmountable number for an entire game. This time, they responded with their own four-spot in the bottom of the inning.

“It was good for us to fight back and definitely get runs on the board,” Scupin said. “It didn’t go our way obviously but I think the most important thing is just to come back tomorrow and do the same thing.”

After the Wildcats put up four runs in the fourth, they brought in Devyn Netz to relieve Bowen in the top of the fifth. She entered in the top of the sixth looking to keep the game even. Two quick outs looked like just the way to accomplish that task.

Netz was hit by a comebacker off the bat of Sami Reynolds. She stayed in the game, but the next hit was an RBI triple and the floodgates were open. Netz allowed four more runs before she was lifted in favor of Jessie Fontes. Fontes gave up two more runs in the inning and Washington was up by five.

Arizona was not able to keep the bats hot after Gabbie Plane and Brooke Nelson were each lifted. Plain gave up eight hits and six earned runs. Nelson added three hits and one earned run. Pat Moore shut that down, allowing no hits and no walks in two innings to close out the game.

The teams return to the field on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. MST. The game will air on the Pac-12 Network, Pac-12 Arizona, and Pac-12 Washington.