Arizona can think of its Women’s College World Series matchup with Washington on Thursday morning as a way to show the Wildcats can answer another challenge.
The next difficult task for Mike Candrea‘s team — turn the tide against the Huskies, who swept the Wildcats at Hillenbrand Stadium from May 3-5. Washington has won its last six meetings against Arizona dating to last season.
The sixth-seeded Wildcats (47-12) will face the third-seeded Huskies (50-7) on Thursday at 9 a.m.,Tucson time, at the USA Softball Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City in the first game of the WCWS. The game will be televised by ESPN.
Since the sweep at the hands of the Huskies earlier this month, Arizona has:
- Won the series at No. 2 UCLA to conclude the regular season, giving the Bruins two of their five losses this season.
- Defeated the Bruins remarkably without injured second baseman Reyna Carranco, the leading Pac-12 batter. She was nursing broken bones in each hand suffered the week before when she was hit by a pitch while swinging against Washington’s Tarin Alvelo.
- Won all five games in the Tucson Regional and Tucson Super Regional by an average margin of five runs. They have outscored their opponents 33-8 in the postseason.
Arizona advanced to its 23rd Women’s College World Series by sweeping Ole Miss Friday and Saturday at Hillenbrand, defeating the Rebels 5-2 in Game 1 and 9-1 in Game 2 to clinch its first berth to the WCWS since 2010.
Washington earned its spot in the WCWS by sweeping both the Seattle Regional and Seattle Super Regional. The Huskies have allowed one run all postseason. Washington is making its third straight trip to the Women’s College World Series and 14th overall.
Arizona and Washington last met in the postseason in the 2010 Women’s College World Series. Washington swept the regular season series that year, similar to this season, but the Wildcats eliminated the Huskies from the WCWS with a 4-3 victory. Arizona is 7-1 vs. Washington in postseason play, with all eight meetings occurring at the Women’s College World Series.
With a win Thursday, Arizona would play on ESPN Friday at 4 p.m., Tucson time. With a loss, the Wildcats would play on ESPN Saturday at 9 a.m
Information provided by the Arizona media relations department contributed to this report.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for CollegeAD.com, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports, TucsonCitizen.com, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon.