Mariah Lopez Shuts Out Florida State, Cats Even Series
TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- Mariah Lopez pitched a three-hit shutout, striking out nine Seminoles along the way, leading No. 2 Arizona to a 1-0 win over No. 15 Florida State on Friday evening in Tallahassee. The win evened the three-game series at one win apiece, with the rubber match set for Saturday at 4 p.m. MST.
Lopez overpowered the FSU offense all night and outdueled a pair of Florida State pitchers, who pitched in and out of trouble all night, allowing five Wildcat hits, including doubles from Jessie Harper and Sharlie Palacios and a trio of walks. The three hits allowed by Lopez were all singles and allowed just two base runners to reach scoring position all night in the dominant effort in the circle. Her 9/1 K/BB ratio was her best of the season. She improved to 4-0 with the win.
In the pitchers' duel, it was a fourth-inning RBI single by Palacios that was the difference. With two on and one out, on the eighth pitch of the at-bat, she drove a 3-2 Caylan Arnold offering off the left-centerfield wall to plate Isabella Dayton, who pinch ran for Jessie Harper, who doubled. It was Arizona's only hit with runners in position in eight tries on the night. Palacios went 2-for-3 on the night.
The fourth-inning run would be all Lopez would need, though the Cats put at least one runner in scoring position in each of the final four innings, but could not find an insurance run along the way.
Arizona improved to 14-2 on the season with the win while Florida State dropped to 12-5. The two teams decide the series on Sunday at 4 p.m. MST in Tallahassee.