Arizona softball splits double-header in re-opening of Hillenbrand

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Caleb Villegas | The Daily Wildcat During the opening ceremony of the new Hillenbrand stadium, head coach Mike Candrea cuts celebratory ribbon. Due to rain the first softball game of the season was cancelled.

The unexpected rain delay at the re-opening of Hillenbrand Stadium on Thursday pushed Arizona softball's  season opener back a day with a double-header Friday featuring South Florida and University of Illinois at Chicago. The Wildcats won one of the two games played and now have a record of 4-3. Here's a rundown of each game:

GAME ONE: Arizona loses to USF 4-1

Arizona began its home stand against South Florida who came into this invitational with a record of 1-5. 

The Wildcats came into the Hillenbrand Invitational with a 112-3 record all-time at the yearly event, so the odds were in their favor.

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Both sides went scoreless throughout the game. The ‘Cats had many opportunities but couldn’t capitalize. They ended up leaving six runners in scoring position and no offense through five innings.

It wasn’t until the sixth inning, where the USF offense struck gold on a walk and two errors by Jessie Harper, that the momentum of the game completely changed. After that came a sacrifice fly by Mia Fung and then a single by Megan Pierro, setting up a base-clearing double from catcher Macy Cook, putting up four runs in the late in the sixth inning that UA couldn't overcome.

The starter for South Florida was Georgina Corrick, who threw a complete game, allowing four hits and one run. The starter for the ‘Cats was lefty Taylor McQuillin who threw a complete game, allowing five hits, four runs and sixteen strikeouts for a loss.

GAME TWO: Arizona beats Illinois-Chicago 10-1

The game began with a double from Illinois-Chicago Flame's Lexi Watts, who later scored on a fielder’s choice. Only one run and an error were allowed by UA starter Alyssa Denham in the first inning.

Arizona's offense awoke in the bottom of the first, scoring eight runs on six hits in an impressive hitting frenzy.



Not much was done by the Flames once Denham settled down in the circle, as she picked up a 1-2-3 second inning with two strikeouts and left the game after the third giving up just one run.

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In the third, Harper continued the beating with her second home run of the tournament, bringing Reyna Carranco home.



For the Flames, Allie Trudeau allowed 10 runs on nine hits, retiring after three innings.

Marissa Schuld came in relief in the fourth and closed out the game, striking out four batters in two innings and giving the ‘Cats a 10-1 win.

Arizona’s offense stood out and left the Flames in ashes. 

The Hillenbrand Invitational goes through Sunday. The ‘Cats will have another double header on Saturday, when they will face the Alabama Crimson Tide and the New Mexico Lobos.


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