Throughout this season No. 7 Arizona has struggled against top 25 opponents on the road.
Arizona went with Hanah Bowen in the circle Friday to open up the series against No. 12 Oregon and got a nearly perfect outing.
However, with No. 12 Oregon trailing in the seventh, the Ducks got a single and a home run to walk off the Wildcats 2-1.
Arizona is now 2-9 against ranked opponents with all 11 games on the road.
Arizona is 33-9 overall and 11-6 in the Pac-12.
Arizona has struggled as of late at Oregon and has now dropped 10 straight games at Jane Sanders Stadium dating to the 2013 season.
Bowen was spectacular for Arizona, pitching a dominating seven innings giving up two hits in the final inning, which led to two runs and the Oregon win. She ended the game on 90 pitches and collected seven strikeouts.
Haley Cruse led off the seventh for Oregon with a single, and Terra McGowan launched a one-out home run over the netting several dozen feet above the wall in left field to give Oregon (32-13, 10-9) the win.
On the road this season, Arizona has struggled to get its offense going averaging 2.8 runs, giving its pitching staff little help.
Arizona played one game with a fully healthy lineup in the series opener at ASU three weeks ago.
There was hope that with everyone back and getting in rhythm over that last couple of weeks, with sweeps over Utah and Cal, the offense would flip the switch.
That didn’t happen. The theme of struggling on the road continued for the Wildcats, as the lineup could not rally against Oregon ace Brooke Yanez.
Yanez went toe-to-toe with Bowen by going seven innings on 91 pitches and giving up two hits and a run with eight strikeouts.
The only clutch hit Arizona got came from Hannah “Peanut” Martinez, who hit a solo home run in the sixth to give her team a 1-0 lead. The only other hit came from catcher Dejah Mulipola who beat out a grounder to short for an infield single.
Outside of Mulipola and Peanut, the rest of the lineup went 0-for-17 with a walk, showing how much they struggled to pick up on the movement of Yanez’s pitches.
Before the road trip, the top of Arizona’s lineup was amazing, with Janelle Meoño riding a 27-game hitting streak and second baseman Reyna Carranco hitting over .400.
Both were unable to get on base on Friday, going a combined 0-for-6. The stat of the game for Oregon was not only keeping Meoño off the bases but striking her out twice, denying the opportunity to put the ball in play and make something happen.
Arizona is on the fence of potentially hosting a Super Regional as it headed into the final two weeks of the season with eight games against No. 12 Oregon and No. 2 UCLA right before Selection Sunday.
The Wildcats most likely needed to go at least 4-4 during that stretch to secure a Super Regional at Hillenbrand Stadium.
They are now 0-1 in that quest with seven games remaining.
FOLLOW TROY HUTCHISON ON TWITTER!
ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.