Arizona softball sweeps Wildcat Invitational
Arizona softball swept the Wildcat Invitational at Hillenbrand Stadium this weekend, boasting a rejuvenated offense.
The Wildcats scored 42 runs over five games against Portland State, Boston University and UC Riverside to remain undefeated at home.
The Wildcats (15-5) won 8-1 and 12-3 against Portland State on Sunday and Saturday, respectively, beat Boston University 6-3 Friday and 4-1 Saturday and topped UC Riverside 12-2 on Friday.
“There were some bright spots this weekend,” coach Mike Candrea said. “I was a little disappointed today that we didn’t feel a sense of urgency to finish the job [via mercy rule], but we are still growing.”
Down 1-0 to Portland State in the first, senior Brigette Del Ponte blasted a two-run homerun to give the Cats a 2-1 lead. The Wildcats added four more in the inning to make the final score 8-1.
In their first encounter of the tournament, Arizona found itself down two in the third to the Vikings before the offense erupted for 11 runs to force a mercy win. Arizona’s attack was led by juniors Alex Lavine and Kelsey Rodriguez, and sophomores Chelsea Goodacre and Hallie Wilson, who all contributed with multi-hit performances.
“I think we did pretty well,” Wilson said. “We are all trying to put a couple of things together in terms of our at bats.”
Rodriguez began Arizona’s onslaught with a strong RBI single, with the Wildcats still trailing 3-2. Estela Piñon improved to 5-2 on the season, allowing three runs (two earned) on six hits while striking out five in five innings pitched.
“As a team, we are definitely coming along,” Piñon said. “We’ve done way better than our past performances and are working on our struggles.”
In its 4-1 victory over Boston University, Arizona scored three times in the first four batters to begin with momentum. The Wildcats scored four runs on six hits, with help from four errors committed by the Terriers.
Junior pitcher Shelby Babcock (7-2) earned the complete game victory. She held the Terriers to one run on three hits.
In their first matchup of the weekend, Arizona scored three runs in the first against Boston. Goodacre singled in two runs and the Wildcats added another run when Mandie Perez walked with the bases loaded. In the bottom of the third, freshman Lauren Young belted her second home run of the season, that gave the UA a 5-0 lead. Goodacre hit a homerun to left field to secure the 6-3 victory.
Arizona put up six runs in the first inning alone in Friday’s matchup with UC Riverside.
The UA’s pitching closed the door on the Highlanders. Piñon allowed two runs on three hits before being relieved by Babcock in the third. Babcock didn’t allow a run, despite giving up two hits, striking out four in three innings. Despite the offensive highlights this weekend, the team is still not content.
“When we are on the brink of ending a game early, we want to be able to push that last run across,” Wilson said. “We definitely did better.”