By Scottie Bricker
Braatz, Evans help softball sweep Oregon, OSU
The top-ranked Arizona softball team opened up Pacific 10 Conference play with a pair of double-header sweeps against Oregon and Oregon State over the weekend.
The Wildcats took out the Beavers yesterday in Corvallis, Ore., by scores of 8-0 and 13-3.
The second game was called after five innings due to the NCAA's mercy rule.
The opening contest was scoreless until the top of the sixth when Leah Braatz led off the inning with a solo home run, her 11th of the season. Lety Pineda then doubled to center field and was taken out of the game in favor of pinch runner Chrissy Gil.
Gil later scored in the inning on a base hit by Katie Swan.
The Wildcats added six more runs in the seventh to account for the final margin of victory.
Nancy Evans recorded her 18th win of the season against no defeats. All of her wins have been complete-game performances.
Arizona won the second game thanks in part to balanced hitting by the top of the order and solid pitching from freshman Meghann Pricer.
Alison McCutcheon went 3-for-4 while Lauren Bauer, Toni Mascarenas and Lety Pineda each collected two hits. That quartet of players, along with Braatz, combined to drive in seven of the Wildcats' 13 runs.
Pricer pitched all five innings in just her second start of the season.
In Saturday's two-game defeat of the Ducks in Eugene, Ore., the Wildcats won a pitching duel in the opener and a thrilling, offensive showdown in the nightcap.
Evans, the school's career leader in victories, struck out 17 Oregon batters in a complete-game 2-0 shutout victory. She scattered five hits and walked none.
Arizona scored a single run in the first inning and added an insurance run in the seventh to cap the scoring.
In the first, freshman Nicole Giordano singled with one out and stole second after Mascarenas lined out to shortstop. Braatz walked and after a wild pitch moved Giordano to third, Pineda walked to load the bases. Evans was then hit by a pitch, scoring Giordano from third.
The second game of the double header saw 29 runs on 32 hits between the two teams and five errors.
Arizona hosts perennial national powers UCLA and Washington in a pair of double headers this Friday and Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.