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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Softball takes ‘pitch by committee’ approach

The Arizona softball team had to define the term “”pitcher”” loosely last weekend against ASU.

Due to pitcher Kenzie Fowler’s concussion, head coach Mike Candrea was forced to use three position players in the circle to supplement freshman pitcher Shelby Babcock.

With no news about when Fowler will be back, the Wildcats’ “”bullpen”” is preparing for the possibility of having to pitch again against Oregon this weekend. Brittany Lastrapes, Baillie Kirker and Victoria Kemp all made their first appearances in the circle, and adapted to the unusual territory.

“”We were just trying to mix things up,”” Candrea said of the strategy against ASU on Saturday. “”Victoria (Kemp) keeps the ball down pretty well. And we bring in Baillie (Kirker) that has some off-stuff. Then we bring in the slow person in (Brittany) Lastrapes and then follow her with (Shelby) Babcock, hopefully to gain a couple miles per hour on her pitches.””

The three “”pitchers”” gave up eight hits and four walks in 5.2 innings.

Here’s the reaction from Arizona’s three position players that pitched this weekend and how they’ll prepare for the possibility of pitching next weekend.

Baillie Kirker, first base

The last time Kirker pitched, she was a freshman in high school. She threw two games before switching to first base for the rest of her career.

She proved to be Arizona’s most effective “”pitcher,”” giving up just three hits and no runs.

How she felt about pitching:

“”It’s still rocky. It’s shaky when you don’t have pitches and you really haven’t worked on it and you’re just thrown out there.””

Next week’s outlook:

“”We need to work on it. We better get back out there. We need to get some pitches. We only have one or two, so we need to get three or four and throw them off a little bit more.””

Victoria Kemp, second base

Although she picked up the loss on Saturday, Kemp only gave up three runs in the 8-3 loss. She threw two innings but proved effective after giving up a three-run home run to Krista Donnenwirth.

It was her first experience pitching since she was 14 years old.

“”I did the best I could, so can’t ask for anything more,”” Kemp said.

How she felt about pitching:

“”I was actually really nervous at first because I thought it was just in case something happened.””

Next week’s outlook:

“”This week we need to get some pitches going and we’ll be good, so work on it this week.””

Brittany Lastrapes, left field

The senior threw 42 pitches, 20 of which were strikes. Lastrapes was the third “”pitcher”” used on Saturday and threw 1.2 innings. She threw very slowly compared to Babcock and gave up five runs at a critical point in the 8-3 loss.

She said she hadn’t pitched since she was 10 years old, but called the experience “”very different, but fun.””

How she felt about pitching:

“”It’s definitely different being so close to everyone and being on the dirt. Everything is so right here. It’s different, but it was an experience.””

Next week’s outlook:

“”I’ll just try to stay calm. I think if I think about it too much, it’s out of the norm.””

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