OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — First-year Arizona coach Caitlin Lowe claimed her first Women’s College World Series victory since stepping in for the retired Mike Candrea.
Carlie Scupin had three hits and Arizona defeated fellow Pac-12 member Oregon State 3-1 in an elimination game on Friday night.
Lowe was more focused on the players after the win.
“It feels awesome,” Lowe said. “I told them after the game that they were meant for this stage, and I truly believed they were going to chip away and make it happen. Nothing really got too big. They were amped at the beginning of the game, but they knew they were going to win that game on this stage. That’s a big deal.”
The Wildcats won eight national titles under Candrea. This Arizona team took a different road than previous ones. The Wildcats (39-21) lost their first eight conference games this season and finished tied for last in the league before turning things around.
Hanah Bowen (14-11) got the win with two innings of shutout relief. Devyn Netz started and gave up three hits and one run in five innings. The Wildcats held the Beavers without a hit after the second inning.
Arizona advanced to play the loser of Saturday’s Oklahoma-Texas game in an elimination game on Sunday.
Oregon State’s Mariah Mazon, a NFCA third-team All-American pitcher, did not play in Thursday’s loss to Florida.
“Unfortunately yesterday, I wasn’t feeling well,” she said. “I was required to stay back from the game because of medical staff requiring me to stay back.”
The missed opportunity made showing up Friday more important.
“I just wanted to come out here and do it for my team,” she said. “Unfortunately, we came up short. But we gave our all. Just came up short.”
Mazon was strong for most of the game, but Arizona finally got to her in the sixth inning. Scupin doubled to score Amber Toven. Then, Blaise Biringer singled to drive in Giulia Koutsoyanopulos, giving the Wildcats a 3-1 lead.
Mazon (17-12) gave up six hits in six innings. The fifth-year senior said she accomplished her goals at Oregon State.
“When I was recruited … Oregon State wasn’t really a big-name school,” she said. “I thought like, I want to be that person that comes in and creates a name for Oregon State. I think that I kind of did what I came here to do. It’s just been a great experience. I’m so glad.”
Oregon State (39-22) got two runners on with two outs in the seventh, but did not score.
The Beavers were proud of their surprising run and their first World Series appearance since 2006 and believe more success lies ahead.
“They got a taste of it. It’s like blood in the water now,” Oregon State coach Laura Berg said. “They’re sharks. We got to go after what it is we want. If we want to come back here, we need to get better at the things we need to work on.”
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