Through the first five innings of the game, Arizona pitcher Hanah Bowen went toe-to-toe with UCLA pitcher Megan Faraimo, keeping the Bruins batters off-balanced.
Then in the sixth inning, with the game tied at 0 and a runner on first and in a 2-2 count Bowen appeared to throw strike three to get star batter Rachel Garcia looking, but the pitch was called a ball.
On the 3-2 pitch, Garcia blasted a two-run home run to give her team the lead.
Ball 3 or strike 3? Hanah Bowen didn’t get this call and Rachel Garcia hit the go-ahead homer on the very next pitch.
— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) May 15, 2021
UCLA would go on to score three runs in the sixth, then added to its lead with another three in the seventh after a Delanie Wisz hit a two-out, three-run home run to put the nail in the coffin.
Arizona scored two runs in the seventh but fell to the Bruins 6-2, going to 35-12 and 12-9 in the Pac-12.
The loss makes it the first time since the 2019 season when Arizona got swept at home by Washington that the Wildcats have dropped back-to-back home games.
Bowen was solid through the first five innings of the game for Arizona before getting touched up late. She finished the game going seven innings on 120 pitches, allowing nine hits and two home runs that led to six runs.
Arizona was able to get a small rally going in the seventh after Jessie Harper led off the inning with a single, which was followed by a Dejah Mulipola two-run blast to put her team on the board.
Although the rally fell short and Arizona dropped the game, it might be the spark the Wildcats needed as they prepared for the second game of Friday’s doubleheader.
Arizona is 0-2 in the series and needs to win the next two games to give it any hope of hosting a home Super Regional.
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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.