The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

64° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


What to expect from the Arizona softball team ahead of its first road trip

Ana Beltran
Arizona shortstop Jessie Harper (19) waits for the Oklahoma hitter to bat.

After a 10-0 start that has the Wildcats ranked No. 2 in the nation, the Arizona softball team has dominated every opponent they have faced so far. That perfect record is about to be challenged as Arizona will head to Florida for its first road trip of the 2021 season. 

The Wildcats will play seven games in eight days, against four different teams, in three different cities. With there being so many factors that a team can’t control in an opponent’s stadium, catcher Sharlize Palacios feels the key to success for the road trip is looking to one another for help.

“We need to focus on taking energy from each other,” Palacios said. “Passing the bat around and being able to get quality hits at times and focusing on our goal. We’re not going to be able to play the World Series at home, so we have to be warriors on the road too.”

One of those warriors they will look for a big performance from is infielder Carlie Scupin. Scupin was crowned D1 Softball Freshman of the Week, Pac-12 Freshman and Player of the Week for her phenomenal play in the Wildcat Invitational. Scupin credits her success to patience and learning to adjust to playing at Hillenbrand Stadium. 

“My first weekend here, I was very nervous and thinking way too much,” Scupin said. “Last weekend, I was able to relax more and play my game and not try to do too much. Being further down in the lineup gives me an opportunity to see the pitcher … and come up with a plan before I go up there.” 

RELATED: Arizona softball improves to 10-0 after weekend sweep

Head coach Mike Candrea was also happy for Scupin winning so many recognitions for her stellar play.

“It’s exciting, very well deserving honor,” Candrea said. “The last couple of weeks, I have been very pleased with how she’s been swinging the bat. It’s a nice honor for a freshman.”

The team’s performance may look different in Florida, especially with humidity playing a factor in where and how fast the ball will travel. Candrea was honest in his approach to preparing his pitchers and team for such a challenge. 

“You can’t really prepare them,” Candrea said. “We don’t have humidity here to practice in. That is one of the reasons why we’re going there. There’s going to be some other places down the road where humidity becomes a factor, Oklahoma City being one.”

Oklahoma City is where the college softball World Series is played. If Candrea is already talking about it this early in the season, it is clear he is confident that his team will be playing there at the end of the year.

Arizona will open their Florida road trip against South Florida on Saturday, March 6 at 11 a.m. MST. 

Follow Sean Fagan on Twitter

More to Discover
Activate Search