TUCSON, Ariz. - UA junior Taylor McQuillin threw hitless ball for five and two-thirds innings of relief to push Arizona into next week's NCAA Softball Championships Super Regionals, helping the Wildcats (43-14) beat Mississippi State, 4-3, Sunday at Memorial Stadium.
The Bulldogs finished their season 38-23 and would have had to beat Arizona twice to earn the round of 16 play.
McQuillin came on in relief for Alyssa Denham, and retired 13 consecutive batters until issuing a leadoff walk to Reggie Harrison in the bottom of the seventh. Emily Heimberger popped up trying to bunt, but McQuillin struck out Morgan Bell and Carter to end the game. It was made more interesting by a dropped foul by catcher Mulipola to give Carter one more swing.
Arizona awaits its Super Regional fate pending the outcome of the Los Angeles Regional, where UCLA and Cal State Fullerton are matched up in a winner-take-all Game 7 slated to begin this evening at 7:04 p.m. (PDT).
If the Titans upset third-seeded UCLA, the Wildcats would be set to host Super Regionals. Should the Bruins stave off elimination, the Wildcats will head to Los Angeles next week. In that scenario, today's game was the last in Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium's current configuration, built in 1993 but modified in its second year. The main grandstand, pressbox, dugouts and bullpens will be torn down in the coming weeks to make way for a new facility to be completed in time for the 2019 season.