Another day on the road, and another lackluster offensive performance by No. 7 Arizona, wasting a gem of a start by Alyssa Denham in a close 1-0 loss to No. 12 Oregon.
Arizona falls to 33-10 and 11-7 in the Pac-12 after dropping the first two games of the series versus the Ducks.
After suffering a heartbreaking 2-1 loss with Bowen seeing her perfect game erased in the seventh leading to a walk-off two-run blast from Ducks catcher Terra Mcgowan. The Wildcats went with Denham in the circle in hopes that they could get another solid start out of the rotation.
Denham gave the team just that, going a strong six innings on 84 pitches, giving up one run off six hits, and collecting three strikeouts.
However, Denham struggled against Ducks lead-off hitter Haley Cruse who went 3-for-3 with two extra-base hits and drove in the game’s only run.
Oregon pitcher Brooke Yanez completely dominated a struggling Arizona offense by pitching a complete-game shutout.
It’s the first time this season that the Wildcats have been shut out, and the first since June 1, 2019, during the Women’s College World Series during the final game of the season.
Brooke tossed a gem of a game, keeping the Arizona lineup off-balanced on 109 pitches and giving up four hits and racking up 12 strikeouts against one of the conference’s top offenses.
Shortstop Jessie Harper was the only batter with some consistent success against Yanez, going 2-for-3 with a triple and double and a strikeout.
So far this series Arizona is hitting an underwhelming 6-for-47 and a horrific .076 with runners on base dropping its offense’s run average against the top 25 teams to 2.3 this season.
Arizona will now face Oregon in the second game of the doubleheader in a must-win situation to keep its hopes of hosting a super regional alive.
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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.