Entering the three games at No. 3 UCLA this weekend, Arizona was staring at the possibility of consecutive sweeps at the hands of Washington and the Bruins to end the regular season.
That could have made obsolete the opportunity for Mike Candrea‘s team to host an NCAA Super Regional — if the Wildcats get through a likely regional spot at Hillenbrand Stadium next weekend.
Now, No. 6 Arizona (42-12, 19-5 Pac-12) must feel pretty good about its chances for hosting a Super Regional after giving UCLA only its fourth and fifth losses of the season this weekend.
The Wildcats won the rubber-match with UCLA this afternoon behind five solid innings by starter Gina Snyder, a former Sahuaro High School standout who improved to 5-0 allowing five hits with three strikeouts and no walks.
Another leadoff single for UCLA, another great job by @_ginasnyder to keep her at first! She picks up strikeout No. 3 in the process!
Arizona 3 || UCLA 0
The Wildcats scored their three runs on two home runs in the third inning by Hanah Bowen (her first career home run) and Malia Martinez. Martinez’s 13th home run this season plated Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza, who singled after Bowen’s home run with one out.
Bowen is playing in place of injured second baseman Reyna Carranco, the leading batter in the Pac-12 with a .433 average who is out indefinitely with broken bones in each hand after getting struck by a pitch last week against Washington.
Palomino-Cardoza had to leave today’s game against UCLA after fouling a pitch into her face in the fifth inning. She was replaced in center field by Jenna Kean. The update on her condition:
Snyder was replaced by Alyssa Denham with no outs in the sixth after giving up a leadoff home run to UCLA center fielder Bubba Nickles.
Denham pitched the last two innings allowing two hits and a walk without a strikeout. UCLA stranded two runners to end the game.
The NCAA tournament selection show is tomorrow at 6 p.m. Tucson time on ESPN2.