(Tucson, AZ) The Wildcats headed into this weekend with an opportunity to advance to the Women’s College World Series for the first time since 2010.
Ole Miss came to town hoping to change that and with a lineup spray hitters that put the ball in play but lacked the power that this Arizona team has. They started pitcher Brittany Finney in the circle to take on the Wildcats.
In the first inning, Mississippi got runners on and stole three bases trying to shake up Wildcat ace Taylor McQuillin. Only an error by shortstop Jessie Harper allowed the Rebels to score one run in their first at bats.
Zona got the run back in the home half of the first with a double by Malia Martinez that scored Harper from first base, 1-1.
The Rebels came right back in the second inning and got another run on the board with Abbey Latham’s hot to score their second run, 2-1 Ole Miss.
With two outs in the bottom of second inning, Peanut Martinez legged out an infield single and was followed by Carli Campbell with the second infield single of the inning to put runners at the corners. Alyssa Palomino – Cardoza’s RBI single to left field brought in Martinez. The score was tied 2-2 after two innings.
Kaylee Horton with a one out single got on, but was gunned down trying to steal from Wildcat catcher Dejah Mulipola. Ole Miss found out quickly why PAC-12 runners rarely stole on Mulipola.
Ole Miss loaded the bases for the second time in the game but McQuillin got out of the jam with a strike out.
Arizona third baseman Malia Martinez led off the Cat’s half on the third and hit a “dying quail” soft drive to right field for a double, The next three hitters couldn’t advance her and the Cats wasted an opportunity to regain the lead.
Arizona got their lead off hitter aboard again in the fourth inning when Hannah Bowen singled to right field. She was scarified to second on a bunt by P. Martinez. Campbell again legged out an infield chopper to put the Cats back in business with runners at the corners. Bowen scored on Palomino-Cardoza’s sacrifice fly to deep right filed and got the lead back 3-2.
The Cats weren’t finished as Harper singled up the middle to putt two runners on. A wild pitch by Finney advance both runners to second and third with Malia Martinez at bat. She singed in Campbell but Harper was called out at the plate. Once again, Head Coach Mike Candrea gave the home plate umpire and earful for the second tine in the game. Arizona had its biggest lead of the game at 4-2.
Ole Miss went down in order in the fifth inning as McQuillin seemed to have regained her mojo.
Two errors in the bottom half of the inning had Arizona in great position with no one out. With two out, P. Martinez first ball swinging dumped it into short center field to score Pierce with the. Cats fifth run. At the end of five innings, Zona led the Rebels 5-2.
With Mississippi down to their last three outs, McQuillin and the Cats slammed the door closed and went up 1-0 in the best of three in this Super Regional.
McQuillin only allowed one hit in the last five innings. Arizona can close out the Rebels tomorrow.
Game time tomorrow is at 5 pm