Arizona Softball

Arizona run-ruled in six innings by Washington for second straight game

Blaise Biringer hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the first on Saturday. (Pac-12 Network)

No. 22 Arizona was run-ruled in six innings for the second straight game by No. 7 Washington, losing to the Huskies, 11-3, at Hillenbrand Stadium on Saturday afternoon, following a 13-2 loss in six innings to Washington in its Pac-12 home opener on Friday.

On Friday, Ruby Meylan shut down Arizona’s offense most of the evening, striking out 10 while allowing two runs off five hits.

On Saturday, Lindsay Lopez recovered from giving up three runs off three hits in the first inning to pitch a perfect shutout the rest of the way.

Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe says the offense needs to make adjustments better as the game progresses, no matter who they face in the circle in game three of the series on Sunday.

“I just thought we gave them too many good pitches to hit. When you put up the three-spot, you don’t want to give it up right back and give the momentum back to them,” she said. “They really took the momentum and kind of ran with that. I think we have to take the little wins. Getting on base, figuring out a way to be better than our first at-bat. It’s just those little things to get us ready. We’ve seen both of them (Meylan and Lopez) now; we don’t know if we’re going to see a new one tomorrow or back to the same. So, it’s really about making adjustments.”

Allie Skaggs credited Lopez for pitching a great game but says the decision-making at the plate needs to improve.

“It’s a great job by her, but I think we need to be better, and we can be better. Our lineup is scary so we need to be taking scary swings and not being tentative in the box,” she said.

After singles by Regan Shockey and Dakota Kennedy put runners on base in the bottom of the first, an infield groundout from Skaggs scored Shockey from third to put Arizona (19-7-1, 2-3 Pac-12) up 1-0, and Blaise Biringer followed it up with a two-run home run to center to extend Arizona’s lead to 3-0.

In the top of the second, Brooke Nelson’s two-out single up the middle scored Kinsey Fiedler to put the Huskies on the board, and Sydney Stewart’s two-run homerun to center that followed tied the game at 3-3. 

A three-home run from Jillian Celis in the top of the third, which would have given Washington (20-3, 4-1 PAc-12) a 6-3 lead, was wiped off the board because Avery Hobson left first base early. Aissa Silva came in to relieve Miranda Stoddard to record the final two outs, and the Wildcats got out of the top half of the inning, maintaining a tie game.

With one out in the top of the fourth, Olivia Johnson hit a home run to left to give Washington its first lead of the game at 4-3. Nelson then singled to center, and Stewart doubled down the left field line to put two runners aboard. Arizona minimized the damage and got out of the jam after Stewart was caught in a pickle and thrown out at third. The Wildcats recorded the final out when Rylee Holtorf flew out to right field.

Hobson opened the top of the fifth with a leadoff double to center. She would steal third, and a two-out RBI double from Fiedler extended Washington’s lead to 5-3. With two runners on base, Stoddard returned to the circle. She walked Nelson to load the bases before Stewart’s two-run RBI double down the left field line stretched Washington’s lead to 7-3.

Alana Johnson singled to open the sixth for Washington and Fiedler and Olivia Johnson then walked to load the bases, setting up Nelson for a grand slam that put Washington up 11-3. 

Silva (11-3) allowed four runs off five hits in 2 1/3 innings to record the loss.

Skaggs says solid defense and more consistency at the plate are needed to end the series against Washington on a positive note on Sunday.

“We can’t go up 3-0, give up three, and kind of get quiet throughout the game,” she said. “So I think the goal is to score every inning, continue to put good at-bats together and make their defense work as well.”

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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