Arizona softball preview: Wildcats host UC Santa Barbara
Arizona softball steps out of conference play to host UC Santa Barbara this weekend, continuing its five-game home stand with UC schools.
No. 19 Arizona (24-13, 4-5) hosts UCSB (21-13, 2-4 Big West) for a two-game set Saturday at 6 p.m. and Sunday at noon at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Arizona plays its fourth and fifth games in a week after being swept in a doubleheader by No. 4 California and then beating the Bears 7-3 on Wednesday afternoon.
The Gauchos faced a similar result last weekend at Pacific, losing the first two games 6-5 and 3-2, respectively, before winning the last one 5-3 to end a four-game losing skid.
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA Softball team lost for the second time to Washington Monday night. They played a total of 3 games against Washington and lost 2 of them.
Arizona’s win over Cal was its first over a top-five team in five tries. Previously, Arizona lost twice to No. 1 Oklahoma.
Though Arizona started the season 0-7 against ranked teams, it is 2-3 since. The Wildcats are 15-4 at home and 22-3 against unranked teams.
Arizona is 12-1 all-time against UCSB, with its lone loss coming in the inaugural year of Division I softball in 1982. The Wildcats have won 10 in a row, the last in 1991, an 8-0 five-inning win in Tempe, Ariz.
Sophomore pitcher/utility Shelby Wisdom (12-9) leads the Gauchos. As a pitcher, she has a 2.52 ERA with 97 strikeouts in 119.2 innings. On offense, she is batting .324 has hit five home runs and a team-high nine doubles and has 31 RBI.
The UCSB series makes it five games in a row versus UC schools. Arizona is 2-2 against UC schools, beating UC Riverside 12-2 in five innings and losing 6-2 and 5-1 to UC Berkeley before beating the Golden Bears.
All of Arizona’s games against the UC schools are in Tucson this season, as UCLA comes to town April 18 for a three-game series.
The UC Santa Barbara series starts a string of four non-conference games for Arizona, who will head to New Mexico State on Tuesday for a doubleheader.