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Wildcats knock off Matadors, 6-0


Matt Heistand
Arizona Daily Wildcat

Arizona junior catcher Lindsey Collins waits for a pitch on second base in Sunday's 4-3 extra innings loss to Stanford. The Wildcats defeated Cal-State Northridge 6-0, yesterday, and play No. 3 UCLA today and No. 1 Washington tomorrow and Sunday.

By Chris Martin
Arizona Daily Wildcat,
April 14, 2000
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UA now has key Pac-10 games against Washington, UCLA

After defeating Cal-State Northridge 6-0 yesterday in Northridge, Calif., the UA softball team faces its most difficult three-games series of the season as they face conference rivals UCLA and Washington

The No. 2 Wildcats play No. 3 UCLA today and then immediately travel to Seattle where top-ranked Washington will greet them for games tomorrow and Sunday.

"We know a lot about both of these teams," UA head coach Mike Candrea said last night. "This can be a weekend that sets the tone for the Pac-10."

Arizona (43-4 overall, 6-1 Pacific 10 Conference) will be trying to hand the defending national champion Bruins their first conference defeat as they are 6-0 in the Pac-10 and have a 31-5 overall record. UCLA also owns the longest current win streak in the Pac-10 at six games.

The UA offense will face a dominating pitcher in Bruins sophomore Amanda Freed, who is the reigning Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week after earning all three victories in UCLA's games against Oregon and Oregon State last weekend.

Freed is 16-2 on the season with a 0.80 ERA and 145 strikeouts.

"She is a good pitcher, she's got a good off speed pitch, but our hitters have seen her before," Candrea said.

The biggest challenge for the Wildcats, though, could be Washington. The Huskies have defeated Arizona twice this season behind the arm of senior pitcher Jennifer Spediacci.

The last meeting between the country's top two teams was in the championship game of last month's Kia Klassic in Fullerton, Calif., where Spediacci and the Huskies defeated a tired UA team 6-1.

Spediacci has 23 wins on the season with a 0.63 ERA.

Candrea said a key to the Wildcats success will be an aggressive attitude by the offense.

"Getting that aggressive mode when we are walking up to the plate and look to take our hacks," he said of the mentality he wants his batters to take.

UA has momentum on its side heading back into Pac-10 play, though, as the team warmed up with an easy victory against the Matadors.

Sophomore pitcher Jennie Finch had a relatively easy time with the Cal-State Northridge batters as she held them to three hits - all singles.

The shutout was Finch's 12th of the season. She also struck out six batters while walking only one.

"She got ahead of the batters and had good command and we played good defense," Candrea said. "Her getting ahead of hitters makes a big difference."

Junior third baseman Toni Mascarenas led the way for the Wildcat offense going 2 for 3 with an RBI double and two runs.

Juniors shortstop Allison Andrade, left fielder Lauren Bauer and center fielder Nicole Giordano all had two hits for Arizona.

UA also benefited from five Cal-State Northridge errors which led to three Wildcat runs.

"We need to be able to perform well on the road to be able to win this thing (Pac-10 Championship)," Candrea said. "If we go down, then we go down with our best pitch."

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