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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball beats Oregon State in offensive clash

    Arizona senior Jenae Leles used a full-body layout along the third base foul line to grab the game’s second out, laying the foundations for a hard fought 12-9 victory over the visiting Oregon State Beavers.

    “”It’s a little sneak preview for what’s ahead of us,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”Offensively, it’s hard to get excited about it when you’re giving away (runs).””

    Getting off to a shaky start, OSU pitcher Audrey Roderfeld drilled starter Sarah Akamine’s (13-4) pitch to left-center field for a 0-2 hole after the top of the first.

    Arizona (29-7) would regroup behind its offense, leading 11-6 going into the top of the sixth inning. But Oregon State (16-14) closed the gap to 11-9 shortly thereafter. Roderfeld took replacement pitcher Jennifer Martinez’s (6-1) pitch out of the park for two more runs and first baseman DeAnn Young hit an RBI triple.

    But in the bottom of the sixth inning, freshman Lini Koria scored pinch runner Karissa Buchanan from first base on a double to right field and Arizona blanked the Beavers in their half inning to win.

    To begin the game, Brittany Lastrapes hit a double on the first ball she saw, and NCAA RBI leader Stacie Chambers was walked. After a wild pitch, which advanced the runners to third and second, Sam Banister touched up pitcher Kelly Dyer for a three-run homer to give the Wildcats a 3-2 lead going into the second inning.

    And in the second inning, Lauren Schutzler hit a high chopper to left field for a single and Lastrapes followed her with a bunt that died on contact, putting two on base for the Wildcats. K’Lee Arredondo, on her second at-bat, hit another Dyer pitch to center field for a second three-run homer.

    Arredondo had previously been sitting out to rest a lingering injury.

    “”I’m just trying to take it one day at a time,”” Arredondo said of her leg. “”No double headers, so I’m trying to take it easy.””

    Chambers continued her steady – and deadly – hitting, knocking in her first of two home runs of the game, scoring a walked Leles. After the five-run second inning, Arizona was up 8-2.

    But in the top of the fourth, the Beavers drew within four runs, prompting Candrea to pull Akamine for Martinez. With an 8-4 cushion, Dani Chisholm added two more RBI for Oregon State before Martinez got out of the inning.

    “”Defensively, it’s still a tough game,”” Candrea said. “”It’s a quick game, and we just need to get better at it.””

    Answering the Beaver four-run fourth, Chambers soloed to left field to give Arizona a 9-6 edge.

    Despite Martinez loading the bases with one out, that lead held firm in the top of the fifth. She struck out her last two batters, drawing a standing ovation from the Hillenbrand Stadium crowd.

    The Wildcats provided some cushion in the bottom of the fifth with two more scores. The speedy outfield duo of Schutzler and Lastrapes hit two doubles in a row, the second one scoring Schutzler. Arredondo added her fourth RBI of the evening with a single that allowed Lastrapes to find home plate.

    That 11-6 cushion was short lived, as Arizona’s defense gave up the three runs in the sixth, but they eventually managed to put the game away.

    “”People just need to be more sure of themselves,”” Arredondo said. “”Everyone just needs to be on the same page right now. What do you want to do with the season?””

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