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Flawless defense helps Arizona softball sweep Utah in weekend series

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Megan Ewing | The Daily Wildcat Jessie Harper high fives her coach as she runs through first base. Arizona Softball defeated New Mexico State on Friday, April 9 in Tucson, Ariz.

The No. 10 Arizona softball team was able to complete the weekend series sweep at home against the Utah Utes. Arizona was able to activate the mercy rule in the first two games of the series, finishing both games in the fifth inning. 

Here are some takeaways from this weekend's action.

This team can dominate and win close games

In the first game of the series, Arizona dominated Utah with its offense and defense in a 12-1 victory in five innings. Arizona used two pitchers in this game, Hanah Bowen and Devyn Netz, who only allowed five hits and one run. 

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The second game, much like the first one, ended early as the Wildcats cruised to a 14-0 win. The offense was led by Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza, Carlie Scupin and Dejah Mulipola who all tallied three RBI this game. 

Saturday's doubleheader was much more competitive as Arizona beat Utah 6-4. After allowing Utah to take the lead in the top of the first inning, the Wildcats responded with four runs in the bottom of the first and never looked back. 

In the final game of the series, Arizona took home a 3-2 victory. Once again, the Wildcats let Utah take the lead in the top of the first, but the Wildcats battled back to take the lead back later in the game to eventually win. 

RELATED: Play Ball: the Daily Wildcat baseball & softball podcast [S1 Ep6] Arizona softball and baseball teams coming off big series wins

Zero errors in all three games

One of the biggest stats to note from this weekend's games was that Arizona did not commit an error all weekend.

“We can not beat ourselves with sloppy defense,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “It's good that we are cleaning it up as we go down the stretch.”  

Arizona’s fielding percentage is fourth in the country at .984 but have recently run into issues with their defense. 

“We play a lot of great offenses in our conference. We can't let them off the hook on plays that should be outs,” Candrea said.   

The Wildcats will be back in action at Hillenbrand Stadium next weekend for a series against UC Berkeley. The first game of the series starts on Friday, April 30 at 7 p.m. 


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