Cats try to close season with momentum

Arizona will head into this weekend's series against Washington knowing that it needs to be successful in order to make an impact before the postseason.

With the 2011 regular season winding down, the Arizona Wildcats' future seems pretty certain in terms of the team earning its second consecutive trip to the postseason. However, that doesn't make this final series against the Washington Huskies any less significant, in fact it's just the opposite.

"We try not to talk about postseason too much, said Arizona shortstop Alex Mejia. "We just have to focus on the series in front of us and win that."

A home series against Washington this weekend is the perfect opportunity to gain some much needed momentum after dropping a disheartening series up in Palo Alto last weekend, dropping Arizona's conference record to an even 12-12 and fifth in the Pac-10.

"I think last year helped us a lot actually," Mejia said. "We were all here last year and we don't want to go through that again."

Arizona's performance this weekend could determine whether the team has indeed learned its lesson from last year, as a series sweep would guarantee the Cats no less than a share of fifth place and the school's first winning conference season in three years.

However, with a series loss Arizona could drop as low as seventh in the league and possibly right back on the tournament bubble with an unforeseen series sweep by the Huskies. "We need to finish strong, bottom line," said UA reliever Bryce Bandilla. "Momentum is huge in any sport."

And momentum is something the Wildcats will have to get back this weekend after their underwhelming performance where the offense scored just eight runs for the series, equaling the teams second lowest output of the year.

The offense will try to get back on track against a Husky pitching staff that has the highest ERA in the conference (5.02) and has surrendered the second most runs (278). Because while the Cats have provided some exciting moments this year, drama is something Arizona would prefer not to deal with come Selection Monday.

"We need to just take care of business and play our game, said UA head coach Andy Lopez. "It's really that simple."

Arizona's season finale will get under way at 6 p.m. MST/PDT Friday night from Jerry Kindall Field.

Wildcat Authority Top Stories