Softball sweeps double-header against Drake and Kent State

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Stan Liu/Arizona Athletics | The Daily Wildcat April 15, 2018. Junior pitcher Gina Snyder (24) during the Wildcats 10-3 loss to the UCLA Bruins. Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium, Tucson, AZ.

Arizona softball is hosting its yearly Wildcat Invitational this weekend, which concludes Sunday. The teams participating in the invitational are Drake, Minnesota, Kent State and James Madison. 

After a strong performance by Arizona on Thursday night, the Wildcats faced Drake and Kent State on Friday for a double-header.

Game 1:

In the first game of the double-header, which was against Drake, Alyssa Denham took the mound for the ‘Cats. After allowing a run in the first, Denham settled down and stymied the Bulldogs' offense.

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Denham’s counterpart from Drake, Nicole Newman, held the UA's offense in check through two innings.

In the bottom of the third inning, after Jenna Kean singled and stole second, Reyna Carranco corked a double to tie up the ballgame. It didn’t take long for the ‘Cats to grab the lead, as Jessie Harper hit a solo shot to left field.

In the fourth, UA's Rylee Pierce reached base on a infield error by Bulldog shortstop Mandi Roemmich. After Pierce stole second, Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza hit a double to extend the ‘Cats' lead.

Harper lead off the fifth with a first pitch solo shot to left field, setting up for her 45th home run of her career and second of the game.  

The Bulldogs' offense awoke in the sixth following an Arizona error. The third baseman for the Bulldogs, Libby Ryan, stepped up and hit her first home run of the season off Denham. After Denham walked Taryn Pena and Becca Barnett in the sixth, Newman hit a two-RBI double cutting the lead to one.

Arizona took the lead after the sixth, scoring four runs on Pierce’s first home run of the season. 

“It was awesome, glad that it finally came,” Pierce said. 

Following Pierce’s home-run Carli Campbell and Kean continued the inning with two singles, both scoring on an error allowing Palomino-Cardoza to reach base. After Harper drew a walk, Malia Martinez reached base on an e-4 allowing Palomino-Cardoza to score.

Taylor McQuillin came in relief and put Arizona on the winning column. McQuillin pitched two scoreless innings, striking out six, allowing one hit to earn the save.

Final Score: Arizona 9, Drake 4

Game 2:

In game two, the ‘Cats took on Kent State, where Gina Snyder took the mound after having an incredible win from the following weekend, shutting down Team Japan.

Snyder did not disappoint as she went on to throw four innings, striking out seven, allowing one hit and no earned runs.

 “Effectively wild,” said Harper about Snyder’s pitching. Snyder painted the corners all night and did not allow one Bulldog to score. 

“Gina has climbed the ladder,” head coach Mike Candrea said.

Snyder’s team backed her up with tremendous offense throughout the game.

In the first inning, Arizona scored two off an RBI single by Dejah Mulipola, then a fielder’s choice. Hannah Martinez then got on base due to an error, then scored on an RBI double by Palomino-Cardoza.

In the fourth, the Wildcats put up seven runs as they batted around for a total of 12 hits.

After UA tallied 10 runs, Candrea brought in Hanah Bowen to pitch the last three batters and close the door for the Bulldogs.

Snyder’s performance in front of her hometown crowd, backed up by some splendid offense by her teammates, earned the ‘Cats their second win sweeping the double-header. 

Arizona is now 12-5 in the season and are expecting more successful outings this weekend.

Final score: Arizona 10, Kent State 0


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