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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Wildcats go Beaver hunting

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Hallie Bolonkin
Hallie Bolonkin/Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona softball team’s second challenge of the Pacific 10 Conference schedule lies on the road in Corvallis, Ore.

The Beavers are winless in the conference, having dropped three games to No. 10 UCLA last weekend. They now stand at 16-11 on the season.

Still, Arizona head coach Mike Candrea is not ready to look ahead to next week’s visit from No. 6 Washington, demanding his team focus on the task at hand.

“”Oregon State is a team that’s not playing extremely well, but they’re a team that can beat you,”” he said. “”So it’s, again, not letting your guard down and making sure that you’re getting where you need to be. And if we do that and take care of the things that we need to, then we’ll be fine.””

The Beavers are 6-0 at home this season, having won two games each against Utah State, Weber State and Portland State. Arizona has also faced off against Utah State and Portland State this year, beating both in convincing fashion.

Candrea has emphasized the parity of the Pac-10 this season. “”It’s one of those years where there’s going to be a lot less sweeps than what people are accustomed to,”” he said.

It will be important for the Wildcats to emerge victorious from this series, as the schedule gets more difficult after this weekend with consecutive visits from the No. 7 Huskies, No. 3 ASU and No. 16 Oregon.

Arizona enters the series against Oregon State as one of the hottest teams in the nation. It is riding an eight-game winning streak, and, with the dominant sweep of Stanford last weekend, the Wildcats appear to be rounding into the form that earned them a No. 1 preseason ranking.

Freshman Alex Lavine, who saw the first Pac-10 experience of her career last weekend, says the team is finally starting to get comfortable. “”It was really exciting to contribute and for us all to really bond together and play as a team.””

The visit to Corvallis should also be a good chance for freshman Shelby Babcock to see significant time against a Pac-10 offense. She pitched only 3.1 innings against Stanford, due in part to the dominant form of Kenzie Fowler, which earned the sophomore pitcher USA Softball Player of the Week and Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week awards.

Arizona plays at 3 p.m. on Friday, noon on Saturday and 11 a.m. on Sunday.

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