Taryne Mowatt, the indefatigable pitching hero of Arizona’s magical run to the Women’s College World Series title in 2007, didn’t last three batters at an alumni game Saturday.
We don’t mean to make light of her ill-fated appearance back in the circle at Hillenbrand Stadium, but since Mowatt was able to flash that ol’ toothpaste-commercial smile afterward, perhaps she is already using some humor herself to cope with what she did.
And what she did was this: She tore her left ACL.
“So embarrassing, right?” Mowatt said, her left leg bandaged and encased in a brace. “You come out to an alumni game and you tear your ACL throwing a fastball. Who would have thought?”
Mowatt and 60-plus other Arizona alums made quite a Homecoming reunion weekend out of it, capped by Sunday’s game, with the “old-timers” mixed in with the current Wildcats team. Mowatt was the first — and only — alum to pitch, falling to the ground after a batter had hit a foul ball down the third-base side.
Something went awry when she planted on her left leg.
Mowatt got up and tried to throw a practice pitch.
“And I was like, ‘Yeah, something is wrong.'”
She slowly limped off the field, then was carried to the team clubhouse beyond the left-field bleachers.
Chances are, the 30-year-old Mowatt will have a hard time living this down when she returns to her job as the pitching coach at Ole Miss.
“Sad, right?” she said.
“I went my whole career without ever getting injured, and then a fastball … hard landing … yeah, it wasn’t good.”
But, judging from her social media, she was having a great time with her old teammates in the past couple of days. On Sunday during the game, the school honored members of the 1997 and 2007 national championship teams, as well as Autumn Champion, part of the 2016 UA Hall of Fame class.
Mowatt was part of Arizona’s 2006 title game (which was led by pitcher Alicia Hollowell) and the 2007 team, when she pitched a Series-record 60 innings — eight games in seven days, 1,035 pitches. Mowatt and the Cats staved off five elimination games, and she baffled Tennessee with her changeup until the last out of the final game of the championship series as the Wildcats won 5-0.
“It’s unbelievable being back. I can’t believe it’s been 10 years,” she said. “We’ve all been very close since college. We’re sisters.”
Mowatt had been expecting to fly out of Tucson at 3 p.m., but changed her flight while on her way to the airport, deciding she should see a doctor before flying.
“I’m using it as an excuse to stay longer,” Mowatt said with a smile. “I love Tucson that much.”