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Arizona softball salvages the Game 3 win at California

arizona-softball-salvages-game-3-win-california-skaggs-pacho-palacios Photo by Mike Mattina / Arizona Athletics

Arizona softball used back-to-back home runs from Allie Skaggs and Izzy Pacho to salvage the 5-2 win over California in game three on Sunday afternoon. The Golden Bears had already sealed their first series win against Arizona since 2013 by winning the first two games of the series.

The home run by Skaggs was the 21st of the season by the sophomore. That ties her with Washington’s Baylee Klingler for the conference lead.

The Wildcats scored their five runs on eight hits, getting RBI from Skaggs, Pacho, and Sharlize Palacios. Palacios and Skaggs ended the game tied for second in the conference with 54 RBI on the season. Seven of the eight Arizona hits came from the top five in the batting order with only eight-hole hitter Sophia Carroll getting a hit in the latter part of the order.

It was the 23rd time this season that Arizona had scored five or fewer runs. For just the seventh time overall and the first time in Pac-12 play, the Wildcats won a game without scoring six or more runs.

Hanah Bowen made her second start of the series after taking the loss on Friday afternoon. She gave up three hits and two earned runs in 3.1 innings before being pulled for Madi Elish in the fourth inning. Bowen was relieved after giving up a triple and home run, allowing the Golden Bears to cut Arizona’s 4-0 lead in half.

Elish got two easy outs in the fourth, but she ran into her own difficulties in the bottom of the sixth. The freshman gave up just one hit combined in the fourth and fifth and got two quick outs in the sixth. That’s when she started to have difficulty finding the zone.

After Elish walked the bases full, sophomore Devyn Netz came in to relieve her. Netz got the four-out save, giving up one hit in her 1.1 innings. It was the third save of the season for Netz, while Elish got her seventh win to improve her record to 7-3.

Arizona will close out the regular season with a homestand against Stanford next week. It will be strength-against-strength as an Arizona team that is in the top two of most conference offensive categories faces off against a Cardinal team that features Alana Vawter, the league leader in pitching wins with 21.

The Wildcats ended the weekend in California first in runs (316), first in RBI (299), first in team batting average (.331), second in hits (414), second in slugging percentage (.577), and second in home runs (80).

Arizona improves to 32-18 overall and is tied with Oregon State at 7-14 at the bottom of the conference. The Beavers won the series between the two teams 2-1 in early April.