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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball gets shot at mid-week opponent

Savannah+Douglas+%2F+The+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0AThe+Wildcats+concluded+the+Wildcat+Invitational+on+Sunday+with+a+double+header+against+Bryant+University.+The+cats+won+the+second+game+5+to+6.+During+the+second+game%2C+the+first+home+run+of+the+season+was+made+by+sophomore+Mandie+Perez.+%0A%0A%2A%2A%2AIm+not+sure+about+the+score+and+it+is+not+up+online+yet+...+sorry%21%21%2A%2A%2A
Savannah Douglas
Savannah Douglas / The Daily Wildcat The Wildcats concluded the Wildcat Invitational on Sunday with a double header against Bryant University. The cats won the second game 5 to 6. During the second game, the first home run of the season was made by sophomore Mandie Perez. ***Im not sure about the score and it is not up online yet … sorry!!***

Arizona softball hosts UNLV for a mid-week double-header on Wednesday at noon and 2 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium. The No. 13 Wildcats are 17-3 on the season and with the Judi Garman Classic looming large this weekend, they have to stay focused on the Runnin’ Rebels. 

“I guess it’s just a different mentality,” Arizona outfielder Eva Watson said. “We don’t have as many practice days, so it’s a little different that we have to get prepared a little sooner. It’s like coach says: Every day counts.” 

Arizona has the momentum on its side after six wins in six games last weekend. The dominant pitching staff has led the charge over the last few games. All three starting pitchers have an ERA at 2.09 or lower, with Nancy Bowling leading the way at 1.71. Michelle Floyd and Trish Parks are tied for the team lead with seven wins each, and Floyd leads in strikeouts with 47.

Floyd has been the most surprising out of those three. She’s come on in a big way over the past couple of weeks for Arizona coach Mike Candrea’s squad after rarely being used in her true freshman season and even the beginning of this season.

The sophomore from San Marino, Calif., said she’s excited about the increased playing time she’s received this season and never gave up after that lack of playing during her freshman year.

“It’s all about just never losing faith at all and just always trying to be prepared for when the opportunity may come,” Floyd said. “When the bell is rung, may I please be ready. Each opportunity is a blessing.”

Floyd added that she loves being around her teammates and being on a talented team. 

“It’s a lot of fun,” Floyd said. “Every day I get to be out here with my team is a great day. Every opportunity we get to play is a lot of fun.”

Offensively, 13 of the 19 players on the roster hold a batting average of over .300 and six players have racked up double-digit RBIs. Not to mention, eight different Wildcats have stolen a bag this season, with outfielder Chelsea Suitos leading the way with eight stolen bases. 

From a power perspective, the Wildcats have nine different players who have hit a home run this season. 

Candrea said the team, both offensively and from a pitching standpoint, is ready to take on UNLV for this mid-week game and will approach the day game with the same mentality.

“To get all of our games in, we have to get some mid-week games in,” Candrea said. “It is what it is. It gives us a chance to compete in the middle of the week and get ready for the weekend.” 

UNLV is 10-8 on the season and presents a classic case of a trap series, as the Wildcats will head to the Judi Garman Classic over the weekend where they will play three ranked teams, two of which are in the top 10, including No. 1 Florida. Players and coaches said the team needs to stay focused on UNLV rather than looking ahead to weekend matchups like the one against Florida. 

“It’s very much key,” Floyd said. “Every game is an opportunity to get better. Every time you get to play is an opportunity to improve.”

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Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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