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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball hosts Arizona Fall Classic

Outfielder Brittany Lastrapes takes a swing during Arizona?s opening fall softball game, a 12-0 win against the Yavapai College Roughriders on Sunday. Lastrapes and her teammates hope to build team chemistry as they continue play in five games this weekend.
Outfielder Brittany Lastrapes takes a swing during Arizona?s opening fall softball game, a 12-0 win against the Yavapai College Roughriders on Sunday. Lastrapes and her teammates hope to build team chemistry as they continue play in five games this weekend.

During Sunday’s victory over Yavapai College 12-0 with their newly-introduced 2009-10 roster, Arizona softball’s freshmen shined.

While hosting this weekend’s Arizona Fall Classic softball tournament, the Wildcats will give those young players more valuable experience, playing in five games over the course of three days starting 4 p.m. today at Hillenbrand Stadium.

“”Right now we’re just trying to get our freshmen into game situations to see how they react,”” head coach Mike Candrea said. “”The big thing in the fall, for us, is to work on individual skills and try to improve upon those things, because we play a game of repetition.””

After their shutout over Yavapai College on Sunday, the Wildcats will play Arizona Western College, the University of New Mexico, Central Arizona College, Cypress College and Pima Community College.

Against the Yavapai Roughriders, pitching phenom Kenzie Fowler didn’t even give her defense a chance to make plays, throwing six innings and giving up no hits, while freshmen third baseman Matte Haack and first baseman Baillie Kirker both had successful first games as Wildcats.

This weekend, Candrea expects to see them build upon their performances.

The returning players are concentrating more on tweaking their own skills and adjusting to their new leadership role. Speedy left fielder Brittany Lastrapes heads a much younger team compared to last year’s senior-dominated roster.

“”Individually, I just want to have live at-bats, see live pitching again in a game setting,”” Lastrapes said. “”It’s hard when you don’t see live pitching for a while.””

Such micro-management of her own technique is possible during fall ball, a time for experienced players to have a real-time game experience minus the pressures of make-a-mistake-and-lose Pacific 10 Conference competition.

“”For the veterans, like myself, it’s just getting ready for the season,”” senior shortstop K’Lee Arredonddo said. “”I know what to expect this season so I just have to prepare myself here.””

Obviously, the eight-time national champion Wildcats will be the outright favorites this weekend and their goals will be more than to win five more games.

Finding team chemistry will make their official spring season that much more successful.

“”If you have a pretty good fall,”” Arredondo said, “”you’re bound to have a pretty good season. Whether we’re successful or not (in the fall), at least the chemistry is there and we’re playing as a team.””

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