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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona softball tunes up for Pac-12 play with New Mexico State

Colin Prenger
Colin Prenger / Arizona Daily Wildcat The UA softball team defeated the University of New Mexico Lobos Saturday, Oct. 15. The Wildcats beat the Lobos 9-1

In its last series before Pac-12 Conference play starts, Arizona softball will face New Mexico State in a doubleheader today at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

This will be the first time the Wildcats have taken the field since the Judi Garman Classic in Fullerton, Calif., where three of the five games they were scheduled to play were canceled due to weather problems. Today’s forecast shows no signs of rain.

“We need to do the little things right,” senior Jessica Spigner said. “We need to focus on what needs to get done and stay focused on what we’re doing right.”

The coaching staff often talks about the importance of stringing hits together, so that Arizona can pick up the momentum to string wins together, which it has had no problems with thus far, considering it’s 15-1 since starting the season 3-3.

Part of the reason the Wildcats have been able to put together so many wins is their pitching. All-American junior Kenzie Fowler is a perfect 8-0 on the season, with a 1.48 ERA. She leads the team in strikeouts with 84, 15 more than sophomore pitcher Shelby Babcock, who leads the team in starts with 11 and innings pitched with 66.1. The consistency from the pitching staff has made up for the inconsistent hitting the Wildcats have had due to weather problems and opposing pitchers.

In games against weaker opposition, Arizona has had no problem blowing them out of the water, but in games against ranked teams, or teams the Wildcats have faced before, the bats have not been as hot.

“We’ve continued to play the way we’ve been playing, we’ve been on an upswing,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “Hitting is probably the most difficult thing. When you’re not getting a lot of game time, the timing gets off a little bit.”

This last stepping stone before conference play commences will be the perfect opportunity for Arizona to show the rest of the Pac-12, which boasts seven ranked teams.

“There aren’t a lot of surprises from here on out,” Candrea said. “The game is going to come down to who can make the plays when they need to be made and get the key hits when they need to. It’s a battle every time we step on the field from here on out.”

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