Arizona softball goes yard against the Beavers
Monday was another day, another run-rule victory for Arizona softball at home.
The No. 7 Wildcats (28-6, 3-3 Pac-12) improved their home record to 19-0 with their third consecutive mercy-rule win over Oregon State on Monday afternoon. This time Arizona beat the Beavers 14-1 in five innings.
“I thought we played very well this weekend,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “We came out and swung the bats. I thought our hitters made some really good adjustments, having a plan at the plate, and stuck with the plan.”
The Wildcats outscored OSU (11-17, 2-4) 36-2 in the three-game sweep. Arizona has won 16 games by the mercy rule, the most since it had 17 run-rule victories in 2001, one of its national championship seasons.
Junior catcher Chelsea Goodacre (77) hits the ball during Arizona's 14-1 win against the Oregon State Beavers in five innings on Monday at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.
The Wildcats have now won five in a row since getting swept at No. 1 UCLA to start spring break.
“Coming off of a tough weekend, we came back here ready to go, showing everybody what we’re all about,” junior catcher Chelsea Goodacre said.
Arizona hit three home runs on Monday, with two by Goodacre, who has 13 this year and is tied for the NCAA lead.
“We came out here and did exactly what we wanted to do, but now we got to take it all and go to ASU next week,” Goodacre said.
Up next for the Wildcats is a three-game series at No. 8 ASU this weekend.
This was Arizona’s first Pac-12 sweep since a 3-0 series against Stanford in 2011. It is the Wildcats’ first run-rule sweep since 2010, against Oregon State.
“It was big for us to bust it open,” Candrea said. “We struggled last weekend getting the key hit, and this weekend it came in droves. So hopefully we saved some up for next weekend because it will be a true test up there.”
Goodacre gave Arizona the lead with a first-inning grand slam. She went 2-for-4 and had five RBIs.
Junior Hallie Wilson hit a home run for the third game in a row and went 2-for-2 with four RBIs.
Reigning Pac-12 pitcher of the week, OSU senior Amanda Najdek, started and took the loss after lasting 0.1 innings and giving up six earned runs.
“I felt like we came in strong,” senior pitcher Estela Piñon said. “We had been struggling a couple of games, but it was nice to be back home.”
Piñon (9-4) started and got the win after throwing three scoreless innings, giving up two hits and zero walks and striking out one. The Beavers had four hits total.
“I’m really proud of our pitching staff; we worked together and they have been doing a great job,” Goodacre said. “As long as we can produce some runs for them, I think we’ll be pretty good.”
—Follow James Kelley @JamesKelley520