No. 19 Arizona softball looks to extend winning streak in New Mexico
The No. 19 Arizona softball team (26-13, 4-5 Pac-12) will travel to Las Cruces, N.M. to conclude non-conference play and take on New Mexico State (26-13, 8-1 WAC) in a doubleheader on Tuesday at the NM State Softball Complex. The Wildcats hold a 22-8 record in non-conference play to date.
The Wildcats will look to extend their three-game winning streak and upset the Aggies, who are in possession of their own 10-game winning streak.
New Mexico State has not lost since March 22, and most recently swept UT Arlington over the weekend.
Arizona is coming fresh off of explosive offensive performances this past weekend, which highlighted a pair of mercy-rule victories over UCSB.
Tyler Baker / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Softball beat UC Santa Barbara Sunday afternoon 9-0 after 4 innings.
“At this stage of the game we have to keep executing,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “If our offense comes out like it did this [past] weekend, we keep our composure defensively, and go the distance in the circle, then we will be happy with the results.”
In their previous matchups, the Wildcats lead the all-time series with a 48-4 overall record against New Mexico State.
In their most recent duel last March, Arizona fell to the Aggies in the first game, 9-5, but rebounded, taking the second game of the double header 6-3.
“I’m looking forward to helping our team maintain the same drive and success this week that we had during our games last weekend. We are going in with momentum and everyone is eager to produce,” freshman Lauren Young said.
Young had a stellar game last weekend against UCSB and compiled three hits, two of which were three-run homeruns, and collected 7 RBI.
Freshman Mandie Perez also looks to contribute after finding her groove with a grand-slam homerun this past weekend.
Staci Rodriguez and Amber Olive, who are hitting .325 and .428 respectively, will lead New Mexico State’s offensive attack.
Rodriguez poses the greatest threat to Arizona’s pitching as she has 13 homeruns, eight doubles, and 42 RBI on the season. Olive has three doubles, four triples, 19 RBI and can also be a danger for the Wildcats.
The Aggies are led in the circle by their ace, Alex Newman, who possesses a 2.09 ERA with 60 strikeouts in 124 innings pitched.
Junior Shelby Babcock will attempt to lift the Wildcats to their fourth consecutive victory. She leads the Arizona rotation and possesses a 3.18 ERA with 85 strikeouts in 110 innings pitched this year.
Babcock and Newman will faceoff in search of their 14th win of the season.
“I want to see us carry everything over into this week,” Babcock said. “We are going to keep rolling with what we have been doing and hopefully I’ll get the run support that I’ll need to lead us to a win.”