Arizona Softball

Arizona outlasts Indiana in 14-inning marathon, coasts to mercy-rule win over Marshall in doubleheader

Blaise Biringer scored the winning run in the bottom of the 14th inning Saturday. (Arizona Athletics)

It took 14 innings and nearly four hours for No. 22 Arizona to defeat Indiana, 10-9, in a walk-off win in game one of a doubleheader at Hillenbrand Stadium Saturday night.

While the game seemingly went on forever, it was a few innings short of the program’s longest game in the NCAA era, which went 17 innings in 1992. The longest game for the Wildcats in program history was a 21-inning game in 1983.

After going down 1-0 in the top of the second, Arizona (15-1) tied the game or took the lead in the bottom of the second, third, seventh and eighth innings before the Wildcats and Indiana traded blows in extra innings where each team began their half of the inning with a runner on second.

A two-RBI single from Alex Cooper in the top of the 14th inning gave Indiana (10-4) its largest lead of the game at 9-7. In the bottom of the 14th inning, an RBI single to center from Emily Schepp loaded the bases and trimmed Indiana’s lead to 9-8. 

Tayler Biehl followed Schepp with a sacrifice fly to left, scoring Brooke Mannon when Indiana catcher Avery Parker was called for obstruction in her attempt to tag Mannon out at home, tying the game at 9-9.

With two outs, a slap RBI to third base from Jasmine Perezchica walked it off for the Wildcats.

Perezchica went 4 for 4 with two RBIs in the game.

“Honestly, I was just trying to do something for my team,” she said of her game-winning hit. “I was seeing them all night and just figured I wanted something on the ground, and I got it done.”

Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe praised Perezchica’s approach at the plate all game, and the way she handled her last at-bat.

“I can’t say enough about the whole team’s performance, but she was just gritty tonight, and I’m very proud of her staying within herself for that last at-bat,” Lowe said. “It’s really easy to get big and try to do too much. She just took what they gave her and wanted the moment most importantly. I think that was the biggest thing; she was ready for it, and she’s been in and out of the lineup. Just the fact that she was all about that moment and ready for it, I’m just very proud of her.”

Lowe was impressed with the team’s ability to battle back and respond all evening, and she was particularly impressed with the play of freshman pitcher Mannon on offense after she entered the game in the bottom of the ninth to pinch-hit for Olivia DiNardo.

“We used every single person on this team, and everybody contributed. Brooke took at-bats tonight. She was ready for it. She’s been taking batting practice,” Lowe said. “We get into a position where we need to score a run to keep that game extended, and all of a sudden, she’s got a full game of at-bats on her slate in the four-hole. I’m just proud of them… It was just very tactical, and I’m just proud of all of them. It’s just a tough, gritty win.”

Aissa Silva moved to 7-0, pitching 10 1/3 innings, allowing seven hits, a strikeout, a walk and two earned runs after starting the game and relieving Miranda Stoddard in the circle in the top of the seventh.

Game two of Friday’s doubleheader went much quicker. Arizona run-ruled Marshall in five innings, 10-2.

Marshall took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Rielly Lucas scored on a throwing error by Schepp, and Bella Gerlach scored on a wild pitch from Stoddard.

But Arizona recovered from its extra-innings hangover when a two-RBI home run from Schepp tied the game at 2-2 in the bottom of the second.

The Wildcats scored a run in the third and fourth innings before opening the floodgates with a six-run fifth inning, which included a two-RBI home run from Carlie Scupin and a solo home run from Olivia DiNardo.

Ali Blanchard (2-0) got the win in relief of starting pitcher Stoddard. Blanchard pitched three innings, allowing one hit and two walks.

Schepp went a combined 5 for 7 with five RBIs and a home run in the doubleheader.

Scupin went a combined 5 for 10 with four RBIs Saturday.

Arizona plays Central Michigan (1-8) at 11:30 a.m Sunday to close out the Hillenbrand Invitational.

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.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
To Top