With the season over, seniors graduating and Taylor McQuillin being one of those seniors Arizona is left with the question, who is the next ace of it’s pitching staff? McQuillin finished her Arizona senior season posting an ERA of 1.52, pitching 207 innings with a record of (24-8). Looking at next season this will be the major spot on the team that Arizona needs to fill in order to reach the Oklahoma City.
Through the years at Arizona McQuillin saw her ERA improve from her junior (1.68) to senior year (1.52). one difference in between those two season was getting the chance to have a full off-season with Taryne Mowatt as the pitching coach.
The same can be said for Alyssa Denham who saw some of her numbers improve from her sophomore season to her junior year. The major improvement came in her strikeout numbers (72) to (112) and opponent’s batting average (.227) to (.182) showing a drastic change with nearly the same number of innings pitched (106) and (108.1).
Clearly Taryne Mowatt has had an impact on the pitching staff in just the short amount of time she had been the pitching coach for Arizona.
Going back to our original question of who is the next ace of the Arizona with McQuillin now gone? If you are looking at what’s on the roster with no pitching recruits coming in so far, the answer is Alyssa Denham.
Throughout the 2019 season Denham had highlight moments such as her no-hitter versus Oregon State. With the stats improvement, highlight moments and in the same number of innings pitched the future for Denham looks very promising.
There are areas that need work for Denham to be able to Arizona back to Oklahoma City. Even with the strikeout rating going up she saw her walks increase as well (26) to (38), which is probably why her ERA went up from (1.85) to (1.94). Although, the ERA did take a little jump her overall game was much improved from the year before.
Who knows what kind of pitcher Denham will be with another off-season to grown and develop from Coach Mowatt. One thing is for sure, there will be an improvement. The only question is, will it be major enough to get Arizona back to the Women’s College World Series.