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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball hosts Stanford

Michelle+A.+Monroe+%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat+%0A%0AUniversity+of+Arizona+Police+Department+officials+gave+awards+to+UA+employees+and+one+student+who+helped+them+solve+crimes+or+arrest+people.
Michelle A. Monroe
Michelle A. Monroe / Arizona Daily Wildcat University of Arizona Police Department officials gave awards to UA employees and one student who helped them solve crimes or arrest people.

Arizona softball is on a very bumpy ride. The team is plagued with inconsistencies, forcing it to rally in last-minute comebacks in which everything waits to click until the very last hit. That might be fun for fans, but is detrimental to the No. 15 Wildcats’ confidence.

“We sleepwalked for six innings,” said assistant coach Larry Ray on Wednesday. “Then all of a sudden they got the hit in an emergency.”

Emergency situations are not the most comfortable scenario the team can hope for.

There hasn’t been much to say about pitcher Kenzie Fowler’s performance other than she’s one of the most consistent components of the Arizona lineup. In game two of the SDSU series, however, she didn’t quite seem herself as she gave away the first triple of the season and a homer, both before the fifth inning.

Fowler’s performance wasn’t the only uncharacteristic one.

Even with a solid win against SDSU in the mid-week series, the team still doesn’t seem back in sync. Third baseman Brigette Del Ponte, one of the team’s top defensive and offensive players, struck out and made a critical error on the third baseline when a hit took a strange bounce, catapulting the Aztecs into a lead that Arizona did not respond to until the final inning.

“I get a sense that we were a little lethargic in pregame,” Ray said. “There are all kinds of things. I didn’t feel the emotion they’re supposed to have.”

That leaves the Wildcats searching for themselves heading into this weekend’s three-game series against Stanford at Hillenbrand Stadium.

“We all just want to win for our pitchers and ourselves; for coach too because he believes in us, so it’s time we start to believe in ourselves,” said sophomore Alex Lavine.

That all depends on the mental state of the team. With head softball coach Mike Candrea in the clear health-wise and due to return to coaching tonight, the team can now focus on the task at hand.

The SDSU series highlights just where the team needs to be in its performance for the remainder of the season. The first six innings of Wednesday’s game were a wake up call that jolted the team into an eight-run victory in just two innings.

The Wildcats can only hope that avoiding a split series in exciting fashion will help carry them into the weekend with more confidence.

“We’re getting tired of not coming through in the big moments,” Lavine said. “We’re tired of losing. We’re better than that. We have a goal to win the national championship. It starts now. We need to turn it around and turn this season around.”

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