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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“‘Cats run rule in Game 1, rained out in Game 2 “

Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat
Softball v Idaho State
Gordon Bates
Gordon Bates / Arizona Daily Wildcat Softball v Idaho State

A season after Arizona softball literally blasted the NCAA homerun record out of the park, the balls are still flying over the fence.

That story was no different in Game 1 on Sunday when the No. 2 Wildcats (16-1) defeated the St. John’s Red Storm (6-4) 13-5 in five innings. Nine of the Wildcats’ 13 runs crossed the plate due to homers.

Although Arizona was only able to complete one of two scheduled games on Sunday, it put on an offensive show in Game 2 before play was called. Bad weather halted Game 2 play, preventing players and coaches from talking to the media.

Against St. John’s, senior pitcher Sarah Akamine (5-1) struggled early and gave up two runs in the first inning. The Wildcats’ offense answered quickly however, using pitch selection as their main weapon against opposing pitcher Linzee Sumrall.

Sumrall (3-3) failed to throw a strike until her eighth pitch and walked the first three UA hitters. Catcher Stacie Chambers was able to make up the early deficit by cashing in with a 3-RBI double. She eventually scored off of a Baillie Kirker blast that extended Arizona’s lead to 5-2 after one inning.

Kirker’s homer was the first of three on the day for the Wildcats. Fellow freshman Brigette Del Ponte and sophomore Lini Koria would also play long ball for a share of the team lead in homeruns. All three players hit their sixth long ball of the season against St. John’s.

Individually, six is the magic number. On the season’s 17 games, however, Arizona has already taken 30 balls over the outfield walls.

As in the first inning, missing the plate was the downfall of Sumrall and the Red Storm. In the second inning, Sumrall’s walks loaded the bases before Del Ponte hit her fourth homerun in as many games, this time adding a grand slam to the mix.

Akamine recovered in the rest of the game, giving up four earned runs while striking out five. She did not allow a run after the third inning.

Arizona’s game against the Idaho State Bengals (3-9) was canceled after play was suspended in the bottom half of the second inning. The Wildcats saw success off a Brittany Lastrapes double and two consecutive bunts by center fielder Lauren Schutzler and short stop K’Lee Arredondo before Chambers cleared the bases again.

Del Ponte would drive in Chambers off a single, giving the Wildcats a 5-0 lead before play stopped. High winds began to blow through Hillenbrand Stadium, and play was eventually called when the rain matched the intensity.

Extra Bases:

Pitcher Kenzie Fowler did not see action in Sunday’s game, after head coach Mike Candrea said the freshman “”tweaked”” her knee.  She did, however, throw in the bullpen during Game 1 against St. John’s.

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