Arizona Softball: Cats move on to Regional Finals, shutout Volunteers


Arizona Softball moves on to the NCAA Regional finals beating Tennessee 4-0.


It was a scoreless game for both Arizona Softball and Tennessee going into the sixth inning. The winds started blowing the Wildcats way through red-shirt junior pitcher Danielle O’Toole as she pitched a shutout to advance her team to the NCAA Regional finals. In Tennessee’s first game, Tucson Star reporter Zack Rosenblatt’s game notes flew onto the field to stop the game, it was so windy!

Arizona’s bats got hot in the sixth, racking up three runs. Mercado and Mauga hit back-to-back singles as well as Nancy Bowling. Lauren Young hit a single of her own to put the Cats up 2-0, when Tamara Statman hit a sacrifice fly Arizona took a 3-0 lead.

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Tennessee wasn’t able to score in the retaliation, putting up another scoreless inning. In the seventh inning, Arizona’s bats were still hot, earning a couple of hits and a walk, and they found themselves with the bases loaded with only one out.

Katiyana Mauga, who hit a two-run homer to beat Ohio State earlier in the day, hit an infield blooper, this time, she brought a run home to tack on one more. Cats had a 4-0 lead on ten hits, with just three outs left to win.

By this time in the game, O’Toole had thrown six strikeouts and retired 18 straight batters, after a lead-off single by Tennessee to start the game. She would end up retiring 21 UT batters when the game was said and done. All-in-all, Danielle pitched 11 innings with no runs and two hits in two games on the same day!

The prize for the second out of the seventh inning belongs to Alexis Dotson, who made a tremendous diving catch, leaving the Volunteers with one out.

O’Toole struck out the last batter, and the Pac-12’s Wildcats beat No. 13 Tennessee Volunteers 4-0. What a fitting way to end the game. Tennessee was on a 13-game winning streak entering today, and the Cats snapped that streak and also shut out both teams on the same day.

The Pac-12 conference came into the NCAA Regionals without a top four ranked Team, at No. 5, Oregon was the highest. Oregon beat Baylor in a 6-0 shutout in to move to their Regional Finals, which takes place at their home field in Eugene.

Arizona’s head softball coach Mike Candrea was caught on camera dancing; he was doing the Twist to a Chubby Checker song which was playing during the game. It was adorable; we bet he’s dancing with his team now. BearDown Lady Wildcats! Way to go!!

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The Regional finals will be played on Sunday 11:30 am PST/MST. Win that game, and the Wildcats will move on to the Regional Finals.