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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball comes away with sweep in doubleheader

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Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat UA Softball vs Sandiego

The Arizona softball team was able to shut down the New Mexico Lobos, winning both games by a combined score of 13-1 in a doubleheader on Wednesday that was used to replace six games that were rained out earlier this season.

Pitcher Shelby Babcock (16-7) started the day off on the wrong foot, giving up a home run to New Mexico leadoff hitter Stefanie Carramusa on her first toss of the game. Babcock rebounded to allow just three hits the rest of the game, and none from the second to the sixth inning of play.

“I thought, ‘Shoot,’” Babcock said. “I just needed to fix things and pretty much just let it go. I moved the ball better and didn’t pitch it to the same spot as I did the first time.”

Offensively, the Wildcats responded to Carramusa’s blast well, hitting a season-high five home runs. Freshman Shelby Pendley, who leads the team with 17 homers, moved into sole possession of sixth place nationally with her two home runs, which led off the third and fourth inning innings.

In the third, fellow freshman Chelsea Goodacre stepped to the plate and powered the ball over the fence, pushing the Arizona lead to 4-1. In the fourth, the home run derby continued when senior Lini Koria knocked a ball into the warm afternoon air and out of the stadium — extending the Arizona lead to 8-1.

The Wildcats would not look back, and despite a small New Mexico rally in the seventh, still won.

“I felt really good. I feel like we made a statement,” Babcock said. “We came out hitting the ball, we kind of had a slump in the second game, but we came out hitting the ball.”

Prior to the start of the second game, head coach Mike Candrea, who has been “playing with the lineup all season,” moved Pendley and Koria up one spot each while dropping junior third baseman Brigette Del Ponte down two spots to fifth, in an effort to give his two home run hitters more opportunities to drive in runs.

The fans that remained for the second game following the 8-1 drubbing were treated to some old-fashioned Kenzie Fowler, who struck out four in the first two frames. Fowler racked up 10 strikeouts and held the best home run hitting team in the country to just two hits.

“Kenzie pitched great today,” Babcock said. “I’m very happy.”

The Wildcat’s first two runs were a result of back-to-back fielding errors from the Lobos, giving freshmen Alex Lavine and Hallie Wilson their first RBIs of the game.

Arizona and Pendley were able to keep the hot hitting alive, as Pendley hit her third home run of the day just over the wall in left field. Senior Kristen Arriola also hit a home run in the fifth inning. The 3-0 lead in the fifth was pushed to five on a Nicole Bryan run via a Jessica Spigner sacrifice fly ball.

Arizona will next face the Oregon Ducks in a weekend series starting April 27.

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