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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Lastrapes’ three homers lead ‘Cats

Ernie Somoza / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Arizona softball left fielder Brittany Lastrapes trots toward home plate as her teammates celebrate after one of her three homeruns during the Wildcats
Ernie Somoza
Ernie Somoza / Arizona Daily Wildcat Arizona softball left fielder Brittany Lastrapes trots toward home plate as her teammates celebrate after one of her three homeruns during the Wildcats

When Brittany Lastrapes is on, it’s hard to turn the Arizona softball team off.

The Wildcats rode the leadoff hitter’s three home runs — which tied an Arizona record for home runs in a game — and seven RBIs to a 13-0 victory against the St. John’s University Red Storm on Thursday night at Hillenbrand Stadium.

“”I was just overly impressed tonight with Lastrapes,”” head coach Mike Candrea said. “”I asked her what she ate and she said a sausage burrito. I said, ‘Well bring them for everyone tomorrow.'””

With a full count during the first Arizona at-bat, Lastrapes knocked St. John’s pitcher Linzee Sumrall’s throw off the top of the center field wall, giving Candrea a little of what he’s been looking for — an early inning jump-start.

“”I think a lot of it is just your focus,”” Candrea said of his team’s sluggish starts. “”You can’t take a broad focus and keep a broad focus and then come game-time expect to turn it on.””

Designated hitter Matte Haack reached first on a fielder’s choice and advanced to second base after right fielder Karissa Buchanan was walked. Lastrapes hit a chopper to St. John’s second baseman, who fielded the ball cleanly but lost control before her throw to first. Haack scored an unearned run on the error, resulting in a 2-0 Arizona lead after two innings.

Freshman Brigette Del Ponte extended her hitting streak to six games with a hit in the bottom of the Wildcats’ explosive, six-run third inning. The third baseman advanced shortstop K’Lee Arredondo to second base on the single, setting up another score on a botched catch.

The Red Storm ended the evening with three errors and could not threaten pitching ace Kenzie Fowler, who returned from a knee injury. The freshman pitcher gave up four hits in the full five-inning, run-ruled game, also recording five strikeouts.

“”I was a little rusty, I think, in the first couple of innings,”” Fowler said. “”I feel like I’ve taken a month off, but I got back into it.””

Second baseman Kristen Arriola followed up Arizona’s third run with a triple off the center field wall, driving in Del Ponte and Haack. Buchanan, returning to the lineup after battling an illness, knocked in Arriola with an RBI single to put the Wildcats’ lead at six runs.

She then stole second base, putting Sumrall in a bind — back at the top of the batting order. Lastrapes blasted a two-run shot to center field to give Arizona an 8-0 advantage before the end of the third inning.

“”My biggest thing I was doing last weekend off the exact same pitcher is I kept popping up because I was playing off the ball,”” Lastrapes said. “”Before she was going to pitch, I was like, ‘Stay close, stay close.'””

Her three homers gave Lastrapes the team lead with seven bombs on the year.

Catcher Stacie Chambers hit her fifth home run of the season in the bottom of the fourth inning, and after consecutive singles and a walk, Lastrapes cleared the bases with a grand slam to give the Red Storm a daunting 13-0 deficit.

Candrea said the team now must start focusing on improving toward May and June. That means bringing its best even against sub-par opponents.

“”We talked a little about preparation in the batting cage and the things you’re doing to get yourself ready,”” Candrea said. “”We’ve got a lot of young kids that I don’t think quite understand what’s in store for them down the road.””

 

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