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How Arizona softball fared against Women’s College World Series teams

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

The Arizona Wildcats are in the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2010, but nothing should catch them by surprise.

The Wildcats have already faced all seven teams in the WCWS, something that hasn’t happened since Arizona did it in 2000.

That year, UA was 15-6 against the WCWS field, and would up finishing third in Oklahoma City.

This season, UA was 4-7 against WCWS teams. Here is how those games went.

Florida beat Arizona, 3-2

In game three of the season, the No. 7 ‘Cats faced the No. 5 Gators in the USF Opening Weekend Invitational.

UF grabbed the lead in the first with a two-run home run by Danielle Romanello.

Dejah Mulipola hit solo home run in the second to pull the ‘Cats within a run, but another Gators’ homer in the bottom of the inning was enough for the win.

Malia Martinez hit a homer in the sixth, and UA got the tying run on base in the top of the seventh, but reliever Kelly Barnhill denied UA’s comeback.

Taylor McQuillin, after allowing two homeruns, retired 14 of the next 17 batters.

Wildcats sloppy in 6-1 loss to Alabama

The third game of the Hillenbrand Invitational on Feb. 16, the No. 7 Crimson Tide led the No. 9 ‘Cats 3-1 heading into the sixth. Alabama scored two in the inning and one in the seventh to seal the game.

Arizona committed four errors, left six runners on base and struck out eight times against Montana Fouts, who is a finalist for National Freshman of the Year.

McQuillin struck out eight as well, only surrendering three earned runs.

Taylor McQuillin shined in 3-0 win over Oklahoma State

Nearly a week after losing to ‘Bama, the No. 14 ‘Cats bested the No. 20 Cowboys in the first game of the Mary Nutter Classic.

The ‘Cats scored a run in the first three innings, while McQuillin mowed down OSU batters. The UA ace struck out 10, gave up two hits and walked just two.

Martinez was 2-for-3 with an RBI.

Oklahoma staved off Arizona, 2-1

In their final game in the Mary Nutter, the No. 4 Sooners and ‘Cats were deadlocked 0-0 until the sixth when Sydney Romero hit a two-run home run. Romero is a finalist for the USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year.

The final inning saw Mulipola single up the middle that scored Jessie Harper, but former Sun Devils G Juarez, who carried a no-hitter into the seventh, ended the rally soon after.

Juarez struck out 11 and allowed three hits.

McQullin and Harper led Arizona past Minnesota, 2-0

In game three of the Wildcat Invitational on March 2, a Harper two-run homer was all Arizona needed to beat the Golden Gophers.

McQuillin struck out 10 and gave up two hits. UA could’ve had more runs, but left six on the bags.

Washington swept Arizona in Tucson

Just like in 2000, No. 3 UW got the best of the No. 6 ‘Cats with a sweep to start May.

Game one was decided by a Morganne Flores two-run home run in the third. UA racked up six hits to UW’s three, but the ‘Cats left nine on base.

Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza went 3 for 4, while Harper drove in the lone Arizona run.

The final score of 3-1 wasn’t the story for UA in game two. UW pitcher Taran Alvelo once again hit Reyna Carranco with a pitch that ended up breaking her hand and thumbs. Last season, an Alvelo pitch hit Carranco in the face that caused her to miss a few weeks with a concussion and facial fracture.

Alyssa Denham got the start in that loss, allowing three earned runs and walked three.

Eight UA runners were left on the bases. Arizona rallied late before Alvelo came on in relief to strike out Mulipola for the final out.

Game three was tied 4-4 in the fourth, but the Huskies added three runs in the top half of the inning to complete the sweep.

Arizona and Washington play each other in the first game of the WCWS on Thursday at 9 a.m. Tucson time.

We have wall-to-wall coverage of the Wildcats as they make their first WCWS appearance in nearly a decade.

Arizona capped the regular season with a big series win over UCLA

UA had barely a week to regroup after the UW series, and the response was one fans were hoping for.

Rachel Garcia, another finalist for USA Softball Collegiate Player of the Year, was handed her first loss of the season in game one, even though she struck out 15.

Down 3-1 heading into the fifth, a Harper two-run homer tied it for the ‘Cats. Palomino-Cardoza won it in the top of the seventh with a two-run bomb.

In game two, Arizona had a 3-2 lead heading into the fourth, but the Bruins tacked on three and held off a last inning comeback to win 5-4.

Game three was the last regular season game, with the ‘Cats winning 3-1. Martinez’s two-run homer capped a three-run inning for UA. Fan-favorite Gina Snyder threw a gem to improve to 5-0.