Arizona Softball

Arizona picks up 9th mercy rule win, defeating Omaha 8-0 in five innings

(Arizona Athletics)

A four-run inning in the bottom of the third propelled Arizona to an 8-0 mercy rule win in five innings over Omaha to close out the Bear Down Fiesta at Hillenbrand Stadium on Sunday afternoon.

The Wildcats (10-1) have run-ruled nine opponents this season, including six shutouts.

Arizona led 1-0 in the bottom of the third when it loaded the bases off an infield slapper from Tayler Biehl, a bunt single from Jasmine Perezchica and a single from Regan Shockey

Dakota Kennedy walked, scoring Biehl, and a two-RBI single up the middle from Carlie Scupin extended Arizona’s lead to 4-1. Kennedy later scored on a wild pitch to put Arizona up 5-0. 

Coming into the game, Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe was excited to see how the Wildcats would respond against Omaha (6-5) and its ace starting pitcher Kamryn Meyer following a 3-2 loss to No. 15 Arkansas on Saturday — its first loss of the season.

She was pleased with the response from the get-go.

“I thought Reg (Shockey) did her job in the beginning. It was nice to see Scoop (Scupin) on time square up the first ball she saw,” Lowe said. “…The biggest thing is getting on time, and she was on time in her first at-bat, so that felt good.”

Aisa Silva (5-0) got the start for Arizona, shutting Omaha out, allowing two hits and no walks with five strikeouts in three innings for the win.

Silva never doubted herself in two jams in the top of the first and third innings when she allowed doubles in each before getting out of both innings.

“The hits didn’t really matter to me,” she said. “I knew if they got another hit, my defense would be behind me, and I know my pitches work. So I kind of trusted Christain (Arizona assistant pitching coach Christian Conrad) to call pitches for me and trusted my pitches.”

The Arizona coaching staff moved Regan Shockey to the leadoff position for the first time this season, and she ran out an infield hit to third for a single to open the bottom of the first for the Wildcats. A sacrifice bunt from Dakota Kennedy moved her to second, and Shockey stole third before a sacrifice fly from Carlie Scupin to left brought her home to put Arizona up 1-0.

Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe explained the decision to move Shockey to leadoff from ninth in the lineup.

“I kept getting excited for the nine hole to come up and then Dakota to follow her, so we wanted to try that way today.”

Abby Flanagan came in to relieve Meyer in the circle to start the bottom of the third, before Arizona’s four-run inning.

Miranda Stoddard finished the game in the circle for Arizona, throwing 16 strikes out of 19 pitches in two innings.

Arizona added two runs in the bottom of the fourth from an RBI single from Perezchica and an RBI fielder’s choice from Kennedy.

An RBI single from Paige Dimler in the bottom of the fifth ended the game by mercy rule.

Arizona plays Drake (4-1) at 6 p.m. on Thursday in the Hillenbrand Invitational at Hillenbrand Stadium.

FOLLOW @KEVINMURFEE ON TWITTER! writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

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