Wildcats sweep Oregon schools
UA 1 of 2 Pac-10 teams undefeated after start of conference play
With the start of Pacific 10 Conference play Friday night, the UA softball team knew their would be no easy games left on their schedule.
Case in point was Friday night's extra-inning affair with the No. 23 Oregon Ducks.
Arizona (39-3 overall, 3-0 Pac-10) took a 2-2 tie into the bottom of the eighth inning before pulling out the victory.
"In our minds we weren't worried," junior pitcher Becky Lemke said. "Going into extra innings we knew we had it."
After the Ducks (24-13, 1-2) loaded the bases - by walking to sophomore first baseman/pitcher Jennie Finch, giving up a double to junior catcher Lindsey Collins and giving an intentional walk to senior right fielder Chrissy Gil - junior shortstop Allison Andrade hit a game-winning single to capture the UA victory.
"She's played well all year, so I am not surprised," Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said of Andrade's clutch hit.
The hit gave Lemke (21-3) the victory as she allowed only two earned runs on two hits while striking out 11 in eight innings.
After struggling with Oregon, the No. 2 Wildcats exploded Saturday night against No. 11 Oregon State with an 11-0 mercy rule victory.
Finch dominated at the plate and in the circle as she shutout the Beavers (26-9, 0-3) giving up only four hits while striking out six.
The win kept Finch's pitching record perfect as she is 18-0 on the season.
At the plate Finch went 2 for 3 with a two RBI double and a two RBI single to lead the Wildcat offense.
"I feel good at the plate, consistency is the big word for me right now," Finch said. "It's definitely the way we wanted to start Pac-10."
Senior second baseman Katie Swan also had a strong day at the plate, going 4 for 4 with two runs and two RBI.
The winning continued Sunday afternoon as the UA took advantage of three costly OSU errors to sweep the weekend series against the Oregon schools with a 4-1 victory.
All four of Arizona's runs were unearned as the Wildcats handed Beaver pitcher Crystal Draper her second loss of the year.
OSU threaten UA repeatedly throughout the game including having the bases loaded in the fourth inning with only one out.
Andrade ended the inning by making the defensive play of the day as she made a diving catch of Beaver second baseman Brynnen Guthrie's line drive
shot up the middle to make the third out and save two possible OSU runs from scoring.
Lemke won her second game of the weekend, despite control problems, as she walked four and gave up six hits.
"I don't think she had her best stuff but she got us through the game," Candrea said. "That is an indication of a great pitcher."
With the win, Arizona improved to a perfect 3-0 in Pac-10 play, and are currently tied with UCLA as the only schools in conference who are undefeated, both teams own 3-0 marks.