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Arizona falls to Stanford in extras to wrap up regular season

The Wildcats’ 11-game winning streak has been snapped

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Gina Snyder made her first career start Saturday
Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

Lauren Wegner was the hero in her final college softball game.

The senior’s walk-off sacrifice fly lifted Stanford to a 2-1 extra-inning victory over No. 9 Arizona on Senior Day.

Saturday’s loss snapped an 11-game winning streak for the Wildcats, who finish the regular season 40-14 overall and 13-11 in the Pac-12. Stanford improves to 24-31 and 3-21, respectively.

Missed opportunities were the name of the game for Arizona. It was 0-for-13 with runners in scoring position, and its lone run was a game-tying solo homer by Alyssa Palomino in the fifth.

Arizona, which was 5-for-40 with runners in scoring position in the series, stranded two runners in the first, second, third and sixth innings, and it left the bases loaded in the seventh.

In all, the Wildcats left 12 on base, spoiling some quality pitching.

Redshirt junior Gina Snyderwhose backstory is pretty incredible — made her first career start and allowed one run, two hits, and a walk in 4.1 innings. Stanford grabbed a 1-0 lead in the first, thanks to an RBI single by Arden Pettit after two walks.

But that would be the Cardinal’s only base knock until the fifth when an infield single by Teaghan Cowles put two on with one out.

Taylor McQuillin relieved Snyder and promptly struck out the next two batters to escape the jam and preserve the tie.

Arizona had two runners in scoring position in the next half inning, but Jenna Kean struck out swinging for the third out.

Reyna Carranco sliced a double down the left-field line to begin the seventh and Aleah Craighton drew a five-pitch walk to load the bases with two outs, but Carolyn Lee got Malia Martinez to ground out to end the frame.

Lee (4-11) tossed a complete game, allowing one run on six hits. She struck out seven and walked four. McQuillin (25-10) was tagged with the loss, allowing one run on four hits in 3.1 innings.

Stanford led off the eighth with back-to-back singles, before a sacrifice bunt set the stage for Wegner’s walk-off.

Arizona will find out its postseason fate Sunday at 7 p.m. PT on ESPN2.

The Wildcats will surely be a Top-16 seed and host NCAA Regionals, but Saturday’s loss likely ends any chance of hosting Super Regionals, barring a first-round upset.

Arizona has reached the NCAA Tournament 31 years in a row, the longest streak in the sport.

Follow Ryan Kelapire on Twitter at @RKelapire or help support his work via Venmo.