The Arizona softball team played a three-game series against Pac-12 rival ASU in Tempe from Friday, March 10, to Sunday, March 12. The Wildcats came into the series with a record of 15-6 and ranked No. 17 in the country by the National Fastpitch Coaches' Association. ASU came into the three-game series with a record of 15-3 and was ranked No. 22 in the country by the NFCA.
Game One: Friday, March 10 at 7 p.m.
On Friday, the Wildcats started Devyn Netz as pitcher against ASU’s Mac Osborne in Alberta B. Farrington Stadium.
The Wildcats started the game by loading the bases before ASU walked in a run to kick off the first inning. The ‘Cats continued to grind out runs, getting a run in every inning except the sixth.
The Wildcats came alive in the top of the seventh inning when Paige Dimler hit a double to left center field when the bases were loaded. The double scored 3 runs and Dakota Kennedy drove in another run with a single up the middle.
Netz claimed her eighth win and the Wildcats won their first conference game 9-0 in seven innings.
Game Two: Saturday, March 11 at 5 p.m.
Game Two saw Aissa Silva’s second start on the mound for the Wildcats, and she faced ASU’s Marissa Schuld.
Arizona again wasted no time taking the lead in the first inning after Carlie Scupin hit a 2-run home run to center field. With ASU having no answer for the Wildcat offense, Jasmine Perezchica hit a double down the left field line to score another 2 runs.
Going into the top of the sixth up 6-0, the Wildcats looked to invoke an 8-run mercy rule to end the game early. The ‘Cats did just that, starting with a hit by Olivia DiNardo with the bases loaded to score 1 run. Allie Skaggs then stepped into the batter's box. Skaggs waited for her pitch and rocked it deep to right field for her third grand slam of the season. With Skaggs' hit, the Wildcats went up 11-0 over ASU.
Arizona took the second game of the series and Silva got her second win of the season extending her record to 2-0.
Game Three: Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m.
On the last day of the series, Netz started on the mound again for Arizona and she faced Kylee Magee from ASU.
The Wildcats took the early lead yet again, scoring 2 runs in the first inning. ASU, however, would finally find some answers. In the bottom of the third, the Sun Devils scored 3 runs, and again in the fifth inning where they scored one more. The Wildcats struggled to answer and continued to leave the bases loaded and runners stranded at the end of each inning. They were held to only one more run in the game, which came in the top of the sixth when Skaggs singled to left field, scoring Perezchica.
The Wildcats lost their first conference game 4-3 to ASU and were unable to complete the sweep.
Arizona ended the in-conference series 2-1, advancing their season record to 17-7. The Wildcats return home on Wednesday, March 15, when they play New Mexico State University for a two-game series at Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.
The Wildcats were ranked No. 17 in the country by the NFCA for the second week in a row.
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