Streaking Arizona softball travels to Fullerton
Five games over the weekend for the No. 8 Arizona softball team provide the opportunity for the Wildcats to get off to their best start since the team started 24-1 in 2006.
Arizona (20-1) will travel to Fullerton, Calif., to participate in the Judi Garman Classic.
The Wildcats will play No. 4 Michigan, Wisconsin, Cal State Fullerton, Houston and San Jose State over the three days in Arizona’s last nonconference games before Pac-12 Conference play begins.
“[Fullerton, Calif.,] is always a test to truly see where you’re at,” UA head coach Mike Candrea said. “I’m looking forward to getting there and playing some quality teams.”
Carlos Herrera/The Daily Wildcat Senior Alex Lavine comes up with the ball after a driving catch against Tennessee State during the Hillenbrand Invitational on Feb. 15. However, Lavine tore her ACL in Arizona's last action and will miss the remainder of the softball season.
Of those quality teams, Michigan is the highest-ranked team in the classic and the first of five teams Arizona will play. The Wildcats will be the 12th game of the year against a ranked opponent for the Wolverines.
“We’ve got a big game against Michigan and we’re looking to go out there and show everybody what we got,” junior catcher Chelsea Goodacre said. “Show everybody what Arizona softball really is.”
Arizona has played only five games against ranked opponents but has dominated the teams it has played. Not only do the Wildcats score 8.9 runs per game, they also hold opponents to 0.8 runs per game.
Goodacre and redshirt junior shortstop Kellie Fox lead the team in home runs and runs batted in, but aren’t even the hottest hitters on the team. Senior catcher/utility Kelsey Rodriguez, who was named last week’s Pac-12 Player of the Week, has raised her batting average to a team-high .523 over the past week.
Rodriguez said the team needs to continue to improve and not overlook any of its upcoming opponents.
“We want to keep building,” Rodriguez said. “It’s very important to keep building every weekend no matter who we’re playing.”
—Follow Roberto Payne @HouseOfPayne