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Arizona softball recap: Wildcats sweep Houston Cougars

Mo Mercado and Katiyana Mauga powered an Arizona sweep

Tamara Statman and Michele Floyd pregame
Tamara Statman and Michele Floyd pregame
Gabe Encinas

The Arizona Wildcats have extended their winning streak to five games now, sweeping the Houston Cougars at Hillenbrand Stadium. Arizona is now 28-12 on the season, heading back into the brunt of conference play. The Cats will head to Palo Alto this weekend to take on Stanford. The Cardinal have yet to win a Pac-12 game this season.

Friday, 4-3 W

In their Friday Night White uniforms, it was a pitchers' duel through the first two innings, until the Cougars got some action going, jumping out to a 2-0 lead.

Mandie Perez was able to work herself on base and took advantage of a passed ball when she was standing on third to come home, cutting the deficit in half. The Cats would leave a runner on second base, ending the third inning at 2-1.

Another drought for both teams lasted until the fifth inning, when Mo Mercado ripped an opposite field, two-out, three-run home run to take a 4-2 lead, leaving it up to Taylor McQuillin to close it out for the final two innings.

McQuillin was able to fend off Houston, after the Cougars scored one run in the top of the seventh, threatening to comeback. Danielle O'Toole picked up her 15th win of the season, McQuillin getting credit for the save.

Saturday Game 1, 11-2 W (5 innings)

Due to the weather forecast, the Cats were forced to play a double header on Saturday, originally slated to play their third game at 11:30 on Sunday morning.

Mo Mercado picked up where she left off on Friday night, powering Arizona to a 6-0 lead in the second inning.

In the third inning, Houston was able to jack a two-run bomb to cut the deficit to 6-2.

Katiyana Muaga led off in the bottom of the fourth inning and hit her 60th career home run, becoming the sixth player in school history to do so, the third to ever do it as a junior. Just two batters later, it was the freshman Tamara Statman going opposite field to extend the lead to 8-2, her fourth career round-tripper.

It was an ugly fourth inning for Houston, as Arizona went on to add three more runs, putting themselves in position for a run-rule win.

Michelle Floyd got the call to bring the Cats the series win, and she delivered, retiring the side and earning herself the save.

Saturday Game 2, 7-4 W

Game two saw Nancy Bowling get the start in the circle. Not much was going on for either team until Katiyana Muaga ignited the flame for Arizona with a two-run double in the third inning. Once again, Tamara Statman imitated with a two-run double of her own, making this a 4-0 game.

But it didn't stop there, as Alexis Dotson went the distance for her second home run of the season, now making this a 6-0 game.

Bowling got roughed up in the fourth inning, with the Cougars scoring four runs. Danielle O'Toole was sent out to the circle to bring home the win.

Mauga would go on to hit another home run, her second of the day. Danielle O'Toole shut the door on the Cougars, giving Arizona the sweep over Houston. O'Toole was credited for the win, earning her 16th on the season, pitching 3 1/3 scoreless innings with just three hits allowed.