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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

UA to face top SEC teams

The No. 1 Arizona Wildcats will face another tough test this weekend at the Cathedral City Classic in Palm Springs, Calif.

The tournament features, among others, Southeastern Conference powerhouses No. 3 Georgia and No. 20 Louisiana State.

Georgia comes into the tournament with only one loss, though it hasn’t faced significant competition yet this season. That will change this weekend, as it faces four nationally ranked teams, concluding with Arizona on Saturday. The game will be the Wildcats’ second of the tournament and the Bulldogs’ last.

The Wildcats start their tournament slate today against LSU. The Tigers began with eight-straight wins but have stumbled lately with two losses to previously unranked Houston and one loss to No. 18 Oklahoma State. All three losses came at last weekend’s Hilton Houston Plaza Classic.

Arizona closes out the tournament with games against Virginia, Loyola Marymount and San Diego State. Of these teams, only San Diego State has been ranked this season, having briefly held the No. 22 spot last week.

The Wildcats are looking to build on their undefeated run at the Hillenbrand Invitational, in which the team won three times by run rule and trailed only once.

After five home runs last weekend, senior catcher Stacie Chambers is just 12 shy of Laura Espinoza’s Arizona record and 17 away from former UCLA Bruin Stacey Nuveman’s all-time NCAA mark.

With the Wildcats playing two ranked teams in a row this weekend, freshman pitcher Shelby Babcock will likely be called on to pitch in one of the games. It will be her toughest opposition since the 11-1 loss to No. 6 Oklahoma two weeks ago. Babcock was solid at the Hillenbrand Invitational, allowing just two earned runs in 10 innings of work.

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