Mauga Hits HR No. 88 as Cats Clinch Series; Mauga all time home - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

Mauga Hits HR No. 88 as Cats Clinch Series; Mauga all time home run leader at U of A

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Arizona outfielder Katiyana Mauga Arizona outfielder Katiyana Mauga
Courtesy: Arizona Athletics Courtesy: Arizona Athletics

Katiyana Mauga had another historical performance as #3 Arizona beat #6 Oregon for a second straight time.  Here's more from Arizona Athletics:

-- A day after edging No. 6 Oregon in a pitcher's duel, 2-0, third-ranked Arizona plated 10 runs on 12 hits and fought off a late Oregon surge to win 10-7 and clinch the series over the Ducks. Katiyana Mauga broke the Arizona record with her 88th career home run, her second of the series and fifth in UA's last four games.

The two offenses entered the weekend among the nation's most prolific, but have been overshadowed by the dominant pitching staffs, which both ranked in the top five in the NCAA in ERA. On Saturday, it was the offenses' turn to steal the spotlight on national TV. Neither team had allowed more than six runs in a game all year, until the two offenses combined for 17 runs on 22 hits on Saturday in the first of four ESPN games for Arizona over the final three weeks of the year.

Oregon scored all seven of its runs on three home runs, two from Gwen Svekis, who brought in five runs with two swings of the bat. Danica Mercado added a two-run homer in the sixth.

Arizona, the nation's leader in home runs, plated just one of its 10 runs via the long ball, but a special long ball at that.

Leading off the bottom of the fourth, Mauga drilled her 88th career home run, an opposite-field shot that meant much more than the 7-5 lead it gave the Wildcats at the time. Mauga passed Stacie Chambers for first place in Arizona history in career homers and moved alone into third place in NCAA history. Mauga is now two back of the Pac-12 record and seven shy of the NCAA mark. No. 88 was No. 21 on the year for Mauga, who is second in the country in 2017.

The homer was one of three hits on the day for the senior, who is now 22-for-her-last-43 (.512) with 11 home runs over Arizona's last 14 games. The three hits marked a season-high for Mauga, who picked up her eighth career three-hit outing.

Reyna Carranco also notched three hits for UA as her late-season surge continues. Carranco went 3-for-4 with an RBI and two runs scored and now leads the conference hitting .455 in league play.

The Wildcats kept steady pressure on Oregon all game long, plating at least one run in five of their six offensive innings, including a five-run second inning that erased an early 3-0 Oregon lead. Seven of the nine Wildcats in the lineup had RBI. Mauga (3) and Ashleigh Hughes (2) led the way while Mandie Perez, Dejah Mulipola, Mo Mercado, Alyssa Palomino and Carranco batted in a run apiece.

Taylor McQuillin earned the victory for Arizona. McQuillin allowed six runs on seven hits with five strikeouts and three walks. She improved to 15-1 on the season. O'Toole got the final five outs of the game to earn her first save of 2017.

An infield single and a walk put two on for Gwen Svekis in the first inning, who hit a three-run homer to center to give the Ducks a 3-0 lead in the first.

UA answered with one run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI from Mo Mercado.

In the bottom of the second, two walks and a single loaded the bases with no one out to chase Oregon starter Maggie Balint, who suffered the loss to fall to 16-3 on the year. Hughes greeted the new Oregon pitcher with a two-run, game-tying single. Perez followed with an RBI ground ball to give the Cats the lead and Mauga laced a double down the left field line to score two more to give UA a 6-3 lead after two.

Svekis hit her second homer of the game in the third to cut UA's lead to one.

Arizona added single runs in the fourth and fifth on Mauga's homer and a Mulipola RBI double, respectively.

In the top of the sixth, Oregon's Alexis Mack singled with one out to chase McQuillin and the Ducks greeted O'Toole with a two-run homer to make it a one-run game once again.

The Cats got both runs back in the bottom of the sixth. Jessie Harper was hit by a pitch to start the frame. Her pinch runner, Eva Watson, then raced around from first on a double by Alyssa Palomino. Carranco drove her in with a single through the left side to make it 10-7 Arizona.

Oregon brought the tying run to the plate in the top of the seventh with one out, but O'Toole induced a ground ball and struck out her third batter of the game to end it.

Game Notes:

  •          Arizona’s 45-3 start is its best 48-game start since 2004 (46-2).
  •          The Wildcats are 15-2 in Pac-12 play, their best 17-game conference start since 2004 (15-2).
  •          During ESPN’s broadcast of the game, the NCAA DI Softball Committee initial top 10 was released. Arizona was No. 2 behind Florida.
  •          Katiyana Mauga has five home runs in her last four games and 11 in her last 44 at-bats. She’s batting .512 with 24 RBI in UA’s last 14 games.
  •          Arizona’s 12 hits were the most vs. a top-10 team since May 3, 2013 (12) in a 10-9 win over No. 3 ASU.
  •          The victory was Arizona’s 25th straight win at Hillenbrand Stadium, the sixth longest streak in the stadium’s history.
  •          The Wildcats are now 9-3 on the season vs. ranked opponents and 6-1 against top-10 teams.
  •          The series victory is Arizona’s first vs. Oregon since 2010. Now, UA will look for its first sweep over the Ducks since 2007.
  •          Mauga’s three RBI on Saturday moved her into fifth in Arizona history with 249 career RBI. She surpassed Mackenzie Vandergeest, who, along with around 30 other alumnae, is in attendance this weekend.

Up Next: Arizona will go for the series victory over the sixth-ranked Ducks on Saturday at 2 p.m. MST. The game will be televised on ESPN2.

Follow Arizona Softball: For further coverage of Arizona softball, visit ArizonaWildcats.com and follow the team’s Twitter and Instagram accounts (@UA_Softball).

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