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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball heads to Palm Springs for trio of double-headers

Following a successful showing in the Hillenbrand Invitational, the Arizona softball team will play in the Cathedral City Classic today in Palm Springs, Calif., taking on Fresno State and No. 13 Georgia.

The rest of Arizona’s weekend includes a tough schedule, including games against No. 21 Oklahoma State on Friday and games against Fordham and Syracuse on Saturday. The Classic ends on Sunday with a game against Long Beach State.

Syracuse is a familiar foe for the Wildcats, who played them just two weekends ago in Arizona’s fourth game of the Kajikawa Classic. Arizona pelted Syracuse in five innings, 11-1. Despite the teams already having played, head coach Mike Candrea is not taking the Classic lightly.

“This week is going to be a big test for us because we ramp things up a little bit,” Candrea said. “We’ve got some very good competition.”

The competition is more formidable than the games they’ve played recently, especially in the Hillenbrand Invitational, but the talk in practice is still about doing the little things right.

“This game is full of little moments that you either execute or you don’t,” Candrea said. “Sometimes, whether it’s a sacrifice bunt or missing signs, the little things will catch up to you in big games, and you have small margin for error.”

Two of the “little moments” where the Wildcats have been inconsistent are the timeliness of their hitting and starting slow. Candrea said the timeliness is affected by the slower speed teams try to pitch to the Wildcats.

“As hitters, we have to do a better job of getting on time earlier,” Candrea said. “We’re really slow coming out of the gate, but the second or third time around we’re picking things up. They’re used to seeing a particular envelope and when they see 58 (mph), their timing mechanisms are still on the hard stuff.”

Aside from the parts of the game played on the field, Arizona senior Lini Koria says the team’s chemistry is still a work in progress, but will see improvement each weekend.

“We’re growing as a group. We have some young kids that are starting, and just trying to guide them to understand the game a little more,” Koria said. “We’ve been preparing all of the fall. It’s just calming them down and bringing back in the fun of the game.”

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