Arizona softball got another good measuring stick Saturday afternoon of how far it must grow to compete with the nation’s best teams.
The No. 9 Wildcats fell to No. 1 Oklahoma 10-2 in five innings in the UA’s final game of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic in Cathedral, California.
The Wildcats (10-4) kept it a tight game through two and half innings, but the Sooners’ bats eventually broke through while Arizona’s offense continued to struggle against elite pitching.
Trailing 1-0 in the third inning, Jasmine Perezchica drove in Hannah Martinez on a sharp grounder down the third base line that was misfielded by OU’s left fielder.
Tied at 1-1 in the bottom of the third, Sooners’ Jana Johns hit a two out, full count three-run homer off Arizona starter Devyn Netz.
Arizona grabbed a run back in the fourth off a solo home run from Allie Skaggs.
In the bottom of the inning, OU scored two more runs off Netz before Madi Elish came in in relief. Elish allowed a two-run homer to bring the Sooners’ lead to 8-2.
After a scoreless Arizona top half of the fifth, Oklahoma walked the game off with a two-run homer.
Netz allowed six runs, three earned, off seven hits, two walks and two strikeouts over 3.1 innings. Elish gave up four earned runs over 1.1 innings, conceding three hits and one walk.
OU’s No. 2 pitcher Nicole May held Arizona’s offense to five hits, striking out 10 and walking none.
Arizona now has suffered run-rule defeats to the No. 1 and 2 teams in the nation, previously falling to Alabama 11-0 at home on Feb. 14.
The Wildcats return to action Thursday March 3 when they host North Dakota at 5:00 p.m. MST.