Arizona softball rolls in Palm Springs
Despite suffering its first loss of the season on Thursday, Arizona softball went 4-1 in the 2014 Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic and defeated two ranked opponents.
This comes after going 2-3 and getting shut out three times in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic last season.
The weekend saw the No. 14 Wildcats square off against No. 12 Texas A&M, No. 16 Missouri, Fresno State, No. 11 Nebraska and UNLV.
Even away from home for the first time this season, Arizona (13-1) continued to dominate on both the mound and at the plate throughout the weekend.
In their five games, the Wildcats outscored their opponents 33-5 and shut out the opposition in two of those games.
“I thought we really came together as a team and learned that we can rely on anyone at any time,” senior utility Alex Lavine said. “We have a very deep lineup.”
The most recent Arizona win came on Saturday over the UNLV Rebels with a score of 14-1 in five innings.
Arizona’s 14 runs tied a season-high previously set in the second game of the season on Feb. 8, when the Wildcats beat Southern Mississippi 14-2.
The Wildcats’ lone loss of the weekend came at the hands of the No. 16 Missouri Tigers by a 2-0 margin. The Tigers scored one run in the first inning and one in the seventh inning. Arizona only mustered five baserunners all game against the solid performance from Missouri pitcher Tori Finucane. She struck out eight over seven innings of work and allowed only five hits all game.
However, UA head coach Mike Candrea said the weekend was still a success.
“I thought we pitched well, played good defense and got some timely hits,” Candrea said.
In the Wildcats’ 7-0 victory over No. 11 Nebraska, Arizona sophomore pitcher Nancy Bowling pitched all seven innings of a game for the second time this season. Bowling struck out seven and allowed only two hits.
Bowling is 4-0 with a 0.91 earned runs average on the season and is a key member of an Arizona pitching staff that has allowed only eight runs all season.
Throughout the season, multiple players have talked about how great the team chemistry is.
Bowling said it’s a welcome sight to see the team coming together.
That chemistry could be a big reason why the Wildcats are 13-1.
Looking forward, the Wildcats return to Hillenbrand Stadium for a two-game set against the UTEP Miners on Tuesday at 6 p.m. and Wednesday at 3 p.m. Both games can be seen streamed live on pac-12.com.
“The biggest thing is we can’t get complacent with where we’re at,” Bowling said. “We just have to bring everything we can to every game and keep up the energy.”
—Follow Roberto Payne @HouseOfPayne555