OKLAHOMA CITY — The Arizona softball team’s postseason winning streak came to an end Friday, as they were on the losing end of a 6-2 decision against the UCLA Bruins.
The Wildcats fall to the loser’s bracket of the Women’s College World Series, where they will face No. 5 Florida or No. 8 Alabama in an elimination game Saturday at 6:30 p.m. PT
Our recap of Friday’s loss can be found here. Here is what head coach Mike Candrea had to say at his postgame press conference.
Q. Early in the game your outfield was making some incredible plays. Seventh inning, making errors. How do you explain what happened?
“I wish I could. It’s something that I haven’t seen for a long time. The same kid (Carli Campbell) that makes the great play drops the fly ball. It was just a crazy inning. Honest to God, I wish I had an answer for it. It’s really what we’ve been talking about forever.
“I just think the moment got a little quick on us. If you look at that inning, we have a relay that had an opportunity to throw a runner out, didn’t do it. We had a fly ball to right field, had a chance to throw a runner out, we didn’t do it. Then the dropped fly ball. You can’t make mistakes like that at this level, in a game of this stature.
“I was very pleased with the team, I thought for six innings, too bad we’re not a little league team, only play six. The seventh inning just really got a little bit out of hand.
“I really felt good when we had runners at second and third with one out. I have Reyna (Carranco) up. Reyna has been absolutely clutch for us. She was the Pac-12 hitter of the year. To watch her at-bat, I was just like, ‘Wow, what happened?’
“Things like that happen. Right now we’re just going to kind of get over it as quick as we can and realize that we still have games to play. I think that’s the big thing right now. I’m not one that lives in the past. I’m going to get over this one really quick, start getting them ready for tomorrow, whoever we play.”
Q. With so much experience at this level, what is the message you give to your team?
“I said you don’t have to look any further than last year when Florida State lost their first game of the tournament, came back and won a national championship.
“I think the big thing is the mindset. After going through a tough game like that, you have to kind of get them healthy mentally, get their confidence back.
“At this stage of the game, if I need to do that, then we’re in trouble because we’re at the College World Series. As long as you have a game to play, you should be happy that you’re still playing.
“We just have to play Arizona softball. I’m very proud of this team. Always will be proud of this team for the work that they’ve done this year. One inning is not going to spoil that. That’s why we play the game. I’ve been on both sides of the coin many a times.
“I thought yesterday was a typical Pac-12 game where we got the clutch hits and Washington didn’t. We play them again tomorrow, who knows what would happen. UCLA is a very good team, a very solid performance on the mound today, in the circle.
“Rachel (Garcia) I think did a good job. But I really felt like we had some really good at-bats, but not enough good at-bats to put pressure on them. Their lineup one through nine is pretty solid.
“The way we beat them a few weeks back was just the opposite. We kind of got the key hits and played good defense. I think at this level, the defensive mistakes will always come back to haunt you. It’s amazing that there were four errors in that game. Most of the time when you make two errors, you’re probably not going to win many games, so I tip my hat off to UCLA, wish them the best, get ready for Arizona to play tomorrow.”