Arizona softball handled the first three games of the Wildcat Invitational easily, going 3-0 against Drake, Kent State and No. 23 Minnesota.
The rematch with Kent State did not go as smoothly, with Arizona needing four pitchers, a comeback and extra innings for a 7-6 victory.
T Statman had the walk-off RBI, sending a grounder to the right side to score Hanah Bowen from third in the eighth inning.
Taylor McQuillin (6-4) was credited with the win after tossing a scoreless eighth. She gave up no hits and no runs while striking out one, stranding a runner at third. (Because this game was part of a tournament, the international tie-breaking rule was enforced, which puts a runner on second base to begin extra innings.)
Arizona trailed 4-0 early, took a 6-4 lead, then squandered it in the seventh.
Freshman Vanessa Foreman made her first career start, but lasted only 2.1 innings after giving up four runs on two hits, two walks and two hit batters.
Foreman was relieved by Marissa Schuld in a bases-loaded, one-out situation in the third and surrendered a two-run single, giving Kent State a 4-0 lead.
Arizona fought back in the bottom of the inning. Reyna Carranco reached on a single that wasn’t fielded cleanly by Kent State’s pitcher. Two batters later, Dejah Mulipola hit the first of her two home runs, a two-run shot with two outs.
Arizona added three more runs in the fourth after a two-run triple by Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza and an RBI double by Carranco.
Mulipola homered in the fifth to make it 6-4.
Schuld wound up going 3.2 innings with one strikeout. She was relieved by Gina Snyder in the top of the seventh after a single and two errors loaded the bases with nobody out.
Snyder hit a batter, then gave up a sacrifice fly to make it 6-6 heading into the bottom of the seventh.
Kent State bunted its runner over to third to begin the eighth, but McQuillin induced a groundout and strikeout to escape the jam.
Bowen advanced on a wild pitch to begin UA’s half of the eighth and Statman rolled over for a game-winning fielder’s choice after Izzy Pacho fouled out to first.
It was a spotty game defensively for the Wildcats, who committed four errors, not providing much help for Foreman in her first UA start.
The Wildcats will return to the field Sunday to face No. 19 James Madison at 1:30 p.m. MST.
Mike Candrea said McQuillin will get the nod. She threw a two-hit shutout against No. 23 Minnesota before picking up the win vs. Kent State.
Here’s Mike Candrea after Arizona Softball’s wins vs. No. 23 Minnesota and Kent StatePosted by AZ Desert Swarm on Saturday, March 2, 2019
Here’s ace Taylor McQuillin after throwing a shutout vs. No. 23 Minnesota and closing the game out in the win vs. Kent StatePosted by AZ Desert Swarm on Saturday, March 2, 2019
Here’s T Statman after notching the walk-off hit in Arizona Softball’s win vs. Kent StatePosted by AZ Desert Swarm on Saturday, March 2, 2019