Cats begin season 5-1

Cats begin season 5-1

Nicole Dimtsios

The Arizona softball team experienced a lot of firsts this weekend at the Kajikawa Classic in Tempe — some better than others.

Thursday’s game against Indiana brought the No. 1 Wildcats their first win of the season, but by Saturday Arizona (5-1) would also experience its first loss of the season, falling to No. 6 Oklahoma 11-1 in five innings.

Sophomore Kenzie Fowler (4-0) debuted her new pitching style in Tempe and won all four games that she started in addition to appearing in the loss to the Sooners. She struck out 41 batters during the weekend and gave up just three earned runs on 14 hits.

Freshman pitcher Shelby Babcock (1-1) also experienced her first collegiate start and victory in Arizona’s 8-3 win over Utah on Friday. Her first loss came against the Sooners the next day.

Arizona’s potentially powerful offense showed signs of its ability to go deep on Saturday against Utah. Senior left fielder Brittany Lastrapes hit the Wildcats’ first home run of the season in the third inning against the Utes and second baseman Kristen Arriola and third baseman Brigette Del Ponte added their firsts of the year in the fourth and fifth innings, respectively. Designated player Lini Koria added her first long ball of the year against No. 19 Texas A&M on Saturday. Catcher Stacie Chambers hit her first of the year against Cal Poly on Sunday.

The four Arizona freshmen position players, Chelsea Suitos, Alex Lavine, Jordy Clifton and Ashlee Brawley, made their Arizona collegiate debut this weekend.

The Wildcats were on the receiving and giving end of a five inning, run-rule game. The 11-1 loss against Oklahoma was the Wildcats’ worse since falling to ASU by the same score on April 2, 2010. Sooner pitcher Keilani Ricketts held Arizona to just two hits, and equaled that total herself in the batters box. She struck out 10 Wildcat batters. On the other end, Arizona’s Babcock threw more than 100 pitches and gave up 10 hits and 10 earned runs.

The Wildcats ended their final game of the weekend defeating Cal Poly 14-0 in five innings.