Arizona Softball

Arizona softball versus Florida State preview

After No. 3 Alabama (51-7) and pitcher Montana Fouts completely dismantled the Wildcats high-powered offense with a complete game and giving up one run on two hits while racking up an impressive 16 strikeouts. 

With the loss No. 11 Arizona (41-14) falls into the loser’s bracket with a matchup with No. 10 Florida State (44-11-1) Saturday on ESPN at 11:30 local time.

The Wildcats will have their backs against the wall with a win or go home game against the Seminoles, with both teams needing a win to try to get out of the loser’s bracket.

The two teams have faced each other numerous times since 2019, with Arizona going 2-4 in those matchups. Overall The Wildcats have dominated the series going an impressive 18-5, with the first meeting coming in 1987 with Mike Candrea‘s team winning that game 3-2. 

Mike Candrea at the 2021 Women’s College World Series (Troy Hutchison/AllSportsTucson.com)

In the 23 games played between the two teams, it has been Arizona’s pitching that has dominated the series giving up an average of 1.7 runs a game against the Seminoles.

The Wildcats batters have gotten the job done on the offensive end, averaging 5.3 runs a game in the 23 games played against Florida State.

Since 2019 the series has been extremely close, with Arizona holding a razor-thin points lead, averaging 3.3 runs a game compared to Florida State, who has averaged three runs during that stretch.

Pitching has dominated the series over the last six games with the merge of victory at 2.7, with the only lopsided win coming on March 9, 2019, when Arizona run-ruled the Seminoles 11-3 in the second game of a three-game series.

In the three games the two teams played this season in early March, Florida State won the three-game series taking two out of three.

In those games, Arizona’s offense struggled with the strikeout, striking out 26 times while collecting 17 hits in a series dominated by pitching.

Mariah Lopez pitching against BYU 2021 (Troy Hutchison/AllSportsTucson.com)

During game two of the series, Arizona pitcher Mariah Lopez played her best game of the season, tossing a complete-game shutout giving up three hits while racking up nine strikeouts on 119 pitches. 

Offensively, it was a tough series for both sides, but for Arizona, the one bright spot was freshman Sharlize Palacios who went 4-for-9 with a double and an RBI. 

The Arizona-Florida State game will be a win-or-go-home situation for both teams who will be facing each other for the fourth time this season.

Here’s Troy Hutchison and AZ Desert Swarm’s Ryan Kelapire breaking down everything you need to know for the Arizona-Florida State matchup:

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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.

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