Arizona softball returns home to host Wildcat Invitational

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Caleb Villegas | The Daily Wildcat

Jessie Harper (19) goes up to bat during the Arizona-Alabama on Saturday Feb. 16 in Tucson, Ariz. in the Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats lost to Alabama 1-6.

Arizona softball returns home to Hillenbrand Stadium after traveling to California this past weekend, where they went 4-1 in the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.

The Wildcats will host a myriad of teams this week as part of the Wildcat Invitational, including Drake, Kent State, Minnesota and James Madison. This will be Arizona’s second tournament since the opening of the newly-renovated Hillenbrand Stadium.

Arizona will kick off the action with a game against Drake on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 6 p.m. The Bulldogs are 10-4 this season, going 1-1 on the road so far. Drake comes into the tournament hot as well, having won their past five games. Arizona will be the third ranked team Drake has faced this season, having defeated No. 12 Arkansas and lost to No. 20 Auburn.

The two teams will square off again Friday, before Arizona takes on Kent State in the second half of a doubleheader.

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The Golden Flashes are 6-4 this season season, coming off a 9-0 loss against North Texas. They played No. 10 Louisiana earlier in the month, losing 21-1 before rebounding to defeat No. 21 Baylor 1-0 in the first game and 6-5 in the second game.

          RELATED: Arizona softball goes 4-1 in the Mary Nutter Classic 

The Wildcats face their first of the other two ranked opponents in the field Saturday, taking on No. 23 Minnesota at 4 p.m. 

The Golden Gophers are 7-5 on the season, having won their past two games by a combined margin of 20-1. They defeated fellow Pac-12 program California earlier this month by a score of 4-0 at a neutral site in Clearwater, Fla.

Arizona will finish the night Saturday with a second matchup against Kent State, with first pitch scheduled for 6:15 p.m. They will then close the Invitational on Sunday against No. 19 James Madison at 1:30 p.m. 

The Dukes are 5-2 on the season, having won their past two games against Boston College and East Carolina.They have already defeated two top 25 teams this season in Oregon and Tennessee. 


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