By Eric Wein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
It's a rare occurrence when the UA softball team has to return to the diamond after a loss.
After suffering its first loss of the year with a 2-0 setback against UCLA Friday night, that was the scenario for No. 1 Arizona entering a doubleheader with Oregon Saturday night.
The Wildcats looked rejuvenated Saturday as they peeled off 17-1 and 14-0 victories over Oregon at Hillenbrand Stadium.
"I thought we rebounded really well," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "We regrouped and got things going."
It was a record-setting night against for senior first baseman Amy Chellevold.
Chellevold, who broke the Pacific 10 Conference career hits record earlier this season, scored twice in the first game to set an NCAA career runs scored record by eclipsing the mark of 207 set by South Carolina's Tiff Tottle from 1990-93. Chellevold scored again in the second game.
However, softball's all-time leading scorer was oblivious to her accomplishment.
"I did? I had no idea," Chellevold said when told after the game. "Hopefully, I can score a lot more and just really shatter it. I just have to keep getting on base."
Few players get on base and advance like she does, but once she did, the players behind her usually help her get home.
Three of those hitters had home runs Saturday. Jenny Dalton hit her 12th homer of the year, a grand slam over the center field wall in the fourth inning of the first game.
The Wildcats (29-1) got more power in the second game on a two-run blast by catcher Leah Braatz, her ninth, and a three-run homer by Laura Espinoza, her 18th on the year.
Arizona's bats went wild as they brought in runs during every inning. As Oregon had trouble making outs, the Wildcats scored nine runs in the fourth inning of the nightcap and a UA runner leaving the bag early was the only way the Ducks could grab the third out.
Meanwhile, sophomore pitchers Carrie Dolan (15-0) and then Nancy Evans (14-1) held off the Ducks. Dolan struck out three and allowed five hits. Evans pitched a two-hitter with four strikeouts.
But the Friday night doubleheader against UCLA, the only team in the country that has consistently matched up equally with the Wildcats over the
past several years, clearly altered Arizona's outlook and will set up a thrilling rematch April 8.
After ESPN2 cameras recorded the first game against No. 2 UCLA Friday, which the Wildcats won 11-4, Arizona had trouble hitting Bruin pitcher B'Ann Burns while seeing her again in the second game.
Burns altered her pitch selection from the first game and homers by Jennifer Brundage and Jenny Brewster put the Bruins ahead for good.
The loss snapped the Wildcats 27-game winning streak, tying the school record they set last year. A record 2,737 fans were also in attendance.
"One thing is you walk out here for an ESPN game, the place is packed and you get where you're almost emotionally right where you want to be Ä like a College World Series game. You go out and do the job but then there's a little bit of a letdown," Candrea said. "It's quite humanistic to let that happen.
"I think it's just kind of made us realize we can't take anything for granted when we walk on the field. We have to execute and do the little things."
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