Arizona gets only four hits against UCLA’s unbeaten Langenfeld
After a 2-1 loss to second-ranked UCLA on Friday at Hillenbrand Stadium, Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea took several minutes to stress to his team that it had better get used to close games.
The Wildcats are sure to be in their share of down-to-the-wire battles the rest of the season.
Despite losing to the Bruins, No. 10 Arizona stayed in first place at 8-3 in the Pac-10 over UCLA, which is 8-4.
Arizona ran into pitcher Megan Langenfeld, who beat the Wildcats earlier this year in Los Angeles.
Friday, Langenfeld (9-0) allowed four hits and struck out eight in cooling the red-hot UA bats.
“She had our number,” Candrea said. “We did not make the adjustments. I didn’t see anything different than what she was doing to us at UCLA . . .
“I thought we competed hard but at times we didn’t compete smart. We hit the panic button on numerous at-bats.”
Arizona (36-10) got its only run on Brittany Lastrapes’ 14th homer of the year in the bottom of the sixth to cut the lead to 2-1.
“We never got it going,” Lastrapes said. “We never had runners in scoring position. We never got started offensively, which is strange.
“We tried to do too much instead of getting base hits.”
Sarah Akamine (16-5) threw five scoreless innings before the Bruins got two runs in the top of the sixth. The big hit was a two-run single from Dani Yudin.
“There was a lot of pressure in this game. But like coach (Candrea) said, we have to get used to playing these types of games,” Akamine said. “That’s all we’re going to see from here on out.”
The UA softball team holds its final regular-season games this weekend at Hillenbrand Stadium:
Saturday: Washington, 7 p.m.
Sunday: Washington, noon