The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

95° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Softball opens season with win

The Arizona softball team faced McNeese State on Thursday night in Tempe, Ariz., and the Wildcats showed no signs of early-season jitters in an 8-1 victory in the Kajikawa Classic’s first game.

After losing in the Super Regional round of the NCAA postseason last year, the talk in practice and the fall exhibition season has been about Arizona’s hunger to get back on the field and prove that this is still “Arizona softball,” as coach Mike Candrea put it.

“It was the first game so there were definitely some first-game jitters,” Candrea said. “This team has worked extremely hard. They’ve done some really good things to make some adjustments mentally and physically. It’s going to pay dividends for us, but we have a long way to go.”

The defense of the Wildcats was on point, allowing just one run off a home run, although McNeese State did not help itself, leaving eight players on base. Starting pitcher Shelby Babcock allowed a home run and struck out nine, but said the team needs to pick it up the rest of the weekend.

“We started off a little slow with the bats,” Babcock said. “It was a slower pitcher, so we had a hard time hitting it (the ball). Everyone was playing great defense and hitting the ball well, and at the end of the game it started coming together.”

A surprise performance came from Chelsea Goodacre. The freshman started at catcher and tallied nine putouts for the Wildcats. Offensively, she had two hits in two at-bats, including a home run in her first college game.

“She’s a very good hitter,” Candrea said. “I’ve always liked her approach to the plate. It’s really nice to have someone of her stature hitting low in the order. Hopefully she’ll see some good pitches down there and be able to produce some runs for us.”

Arizona will face Nebraska and Georgia Tech today followed by Texas A&M and Syracuse on Saturday. The last game of the tournament for Arizona will be played Sunday against Cal State

“Right now, we’re out to prove to ourselves that we have to get back to playing Arizona softball,” Candrea said. “You keep your mind on the game and take it one day at a time, and we understand what that feeling was like at the end of last year. We want to correct that, but we’ve got 55 games to go and we can’t look too far ahead. We just have to try to get better every day.”

More to Discover
Activate Search