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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Three things we learned from the Kajikawa Classic

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
The UofA Ladies Softball Team had practice which included a scrimmage this Saturday, February 6th, 2010 at the Hillenbrand Stadium.
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UofA Ladies’ Softball Team had practice which included a scrimmage this Saturday, February 6th, 2010 at the Hillenbrand Stadium.

The question coming into this season for Arizona softball was who was going to take over for the Wildcats when pitcher Lindsey Sisk transferred after the conclusion of last season.

Arizona already had veteran pitcher, Sarah Akamine, who served as head coach Mike Candrea’s main source of firepower last season, but local phenom Kenzie Fowler’s reputation preceded her as she entered her freshman season at Arizona.

In the Kajikawa Classic this past weekend, Fowler won four games with 22.1 innings of a 1.25 ERA and only gave up four total runs. The pitcher struck out 41 batters in her opening weekend.

Her counterpart, Akamine, pitched in two games over the weekend and put up similar statistics. She allowed five runs in 15 innings and racked up an ERA of 1.34.

Fowler has recorded speeds faster than Arizona great Jennie Finch, but Candrea has said that Akamine and Fowler will split time in the circle for the Wildcats this season.

While both have the potential to go all the way for Candrea, Arizona has a back-up plan if one pitcher gets cold.

“”I think Sarah and I complement each other really well,”” Fowler said after the Kajikawa Classic. “”It’s always nice when you have more than one pitcher that can get the job done.””

Small ball is back

Last year, the Wildcats lived and died by the long ball.

The 2008 Arizona softball team set the NCAA single season record for homeruns with 134 jacks, 31 of them coming off the bat of catcher Stacie Chambers.

Numerous games throughout the season were won with one swing.

But not this weekend.

In Arizona’s game against No. 15 Northwestern on Saturday, it was a Brittany Lastrapes single with two outs in the seventh inning to keep the Wildcats perfect.

“”That was a great game, a lot of small game,”” said designated hitter Lini Koria. “”When it comes to those 1-0 (games), with the score just being so tight like that, it shows a lot with our team, especially when championship play comes up.””

Starting off strong

Last year, the Wildcats hit a speed bump in the Kajikawa Classic. They split their games on both Friday and Saturday and then had their final game canceled on Sunday.

“”Obviously it’s not where we wanted to be,”” Lastrapes said after the tournament last year.

This season, Arizona walked away with a clean sweep of the Kajikawa Classic, defeating all six teams they face`d. The closest game was Arizona’s 4-3 defeat over Northwestern, showing not only that they can win late in games, but that their offense has grown from a single source of runs to a multidimensional offensive attack.

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