Arizona Takes Oregon Series with Run-Rule Win
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Arizona Softball punctuated its first Pac-12 series win of the year in run-rule fashion, crushing 17th-ranked Oregon, 12-4 in five innings in the rubber match.
The victory secured the first conference series win in first-year head coach Caitlin Lowe's career. It also secured Arizona's third consecutive series win vs. Oregon at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Arizona (23-15, 4-11 Pac-12) collected 12 runs on 12 hits -- including five extra-base hits -- to overwhelm the Ducks. The Cats scored their final eight runs over the last two innings after Oregon (25-13, 5-10 Pac-12) had cut the UA lead to one.
Sharlize Palacios and Carlie Scupin homered for Arizona -- both first-inning blasts. Palacios' homer was her fifth in the last seven games while Scupin's was her 15th of the year. Palacios had a game-high five RBI on a perfect 3-for-3 day at the plate.
Arizona homered twice in the first -- a two-run shot from Palacios and a solo homer from Scupin -- to take the early lead.
Depsite plenty of traffic on the basepaths over the next few frames, Arizona's 3-0 lead held until UA capitalized on a bases-loaded situation with a Blaise Biringer sac fly in the third.
Oregon responded with three two-out runs in the top of the fourth. A sacrifice fly followed by a two-run homer cut Arizona's lead to 4-3.
Arizona got the three runs back and then some in the home half. UA put up a five-spot in the fourth, getting RBI doubles from both Izzy Pacho and and Biringer as well as a bases-loaded four-pitch walk issued to Palacios.
After Oregon hit a solo homer in the top of the fifth, Arizona walked off with three runs in the home half. Palacios singled home two before Allie Skaggs ended the game with a sacrifice fly.
In the circle, Devyn Netz (W, 10-5) and Hanah Bowen teamed up for the victory. Netz, who started the game, struck out five over 4.0 innings. She allowed four runs on seven hits. Bowen entered in the fifth and retired all three batters she faced in, fanning two in the process.
Arizona will now turn its attention to a five-game week next week. The Cats host UTEP in a doubleheader on Tuesday rescheduled from last month before heading to Salt Lake City for an important three-game series vs. Utah.