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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

“Softball wins series, drops first Pac-10 game against Beavers”

Hallie Bolonkin/Arizona Daily Wildcat
Hallie Bolonkin
Hallie Bolonkin/Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona Wildcats softball team dropped its first Pacific 10 Conference game of the season against the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Ore., this weekend.

Arizona, however, won the series, taking two games from Oregon State (7-12, 1-4 Pac-10).

The Wildcats (34-7, 5-1 Pac-10) have won five out of their first six conference games. All of the Wildcats’ Pac-10 games have been on the road.

Arizona was unable to string together runs in the first game of the series, scoring its only run of the game on a solo shot by third baseman Brigette Del Ponte in the seventh inning.

“”They (the Beavers) played with a lot more energy, and I told the kids it was like the difference between us and Stanford,”” said head coach Mike Candrea of the loss in the first game of the series.

Despite registering eight hits — three more than the Beavers — Arizona left 13 batters on base in game one. During the entire weekend, 35 Wildcats were stranded.

“”They played well and played hard and we left a lot of runners on base,”” Candrea said. “”We had our opportunities. We just didn’t capitalize.””

Oregon State used a pair of two-out RBIs in the third and fourth innings to take the 3-0 lead before Del Ponte would strike in the seventh.

The loss is the first to an unranked team since March 21 when the Wildcats fell to Virginia.

Arizona rebounded on Saturday, when looming inclement weather in the forecast for Sunday forced a double header.

The second and third games of the series saw the Wildcats pick up two wins, 4-1 in game two and 6-3 in game three.

Arizona’s scoring was largely due to the top and bottom of the lineup.

Right fielder Karissa Buchanan had six hits on the weekend, notching two RBIs in the process. Center fielder Lauren Schutzler finished the weekend with five hits and scored three runs.

The middle of the lineup, however, struggled with finding timely hitting.

“”I think the tough part was our four, five and six hitters struggled,”” Candrea said. “”We could not get the key hit.””

The Wildcats’ two wins came on the arm of Shelby Babcock (13-2), who picked up two wins on the weekend. She pitched 12.2 innings and only allowed three runs.

“”Shelby (Babcock) did a good job,”” Candrea said. “”Started throwing the ball better the second game when she was a little tired. She stepped up for us.””

In game two, Arizona scored three runs to take an early lead. Both the Wildcats and Beavers added another run in the seventh to make the final score 4-1.

The third game of the series saw more consistent scoring from the Wildcats, who scored runs in each of the first three innings. The Beavers weren’t able to overcome the early deficit.

“”Anytime you can win on the road, it’s a good thing,”” Candrea said. “”This past weekend, (we) left a lot of runners on base but snuck away with the two-out-of-three.””

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