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NCAA SOFTBALL CHAMPIONSHIP - TUCSON REGIONAL AT TUCSON AZ

Gamecocks' season ends with loss to Wildcats

61 days ago
South Carolina Athletics

TUCSON, Ariz. -- No. 2 national seed Arizona (51-7) claimed the Tucson Regional crown with a 9-0 win over South Carolina (34-25) on Sunday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Arizona took the initial lead on Mandie Perez's two-out, two-run homer to right center. The Gamecocks had a solid defense play ahead of the blast to limit the damage, as freshman second baseman Mackenzie Boesel knocked down Eva Watson's infield single but turned and threw to third to take down the lead runner.

The Wildcats stretched the lead to 6-0 in the sixth. RBI singles by Reyna Carranco and Ashleigh Hughes preceded Perez's RBI double that was lost in the sun by the Gamecock left fielder. Dejah Mulipola made it 7-0 in the seventh with an RBI single, and Carranco added another RBI base hit to push the lead to 8-0 for the Wildcats. Nancy Bowling's pinch-hit sacrifice fly closed the scoring at 9-0.

Arizona starter Taylor McQuillin (16-3) claimed the win, scattering six hits and a walk in the complete-game shutout. Gamecock senior Nickie Blue (10-12) started, tying former teammate Julie Sarratt (2011-15) for fifth all-time in South Carolina history with 99 starts, took the loss, giving up six earned runs on nine hits and four walks in 5.2 innings of work.

GAME CHANGER

The Gamecocks were within striking distance entering the sixth with the middle of the order coming to the plate, but Arizona sent eight batters to the plate in the top half to break the game open.

KEY STAT

The Wildcats went 9-for-13 with runners in scoring position and knocked 15 hits.

NOTABLES

The Gamecocks left nine runners on base in the game, including two on in the first, third, fourth and seventh innings.