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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona softball looks to keep momentum against Washington

Keith Hickman-Perfetti
UA Softball vs New Mexico State on 21 March 2012. After an uninspired beginning UA won 6-3 after scoring five runs in the sixth inning. Keith Hickman-Perfetti/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona softball team will travel to Seattle for its third conference series of the season, this time coming against the No. 3 Washington Huskies. This series will put the Wildcats’ consistency to the test after a shaky series against Stanford.

“We have opportunities and don’t quite cash in so we need to make adjustments,” head coach Mike Candrea said.

Arizona is coming off a Stanford series that got off to a slow start but ultimately resulted in an ego-boosting victory, while the Huskies dropped a conference doubleheader against California last weekend.

“We just need to stay focused and stay within ourselves,” pitcher Shelby Babcock said. “We have it and we believe in it, so does coach, he believes in us.”

Babcock is turning into the UA’s number one option in the pitching circle thanks to a strong performance against Stanford on Sunday in which she tossed seven innings, allowing just three hits and a run.

Whether or not she will pitch the first game against Washington will be a game-day decision.

“Babcock has really stepped up, improved and taken care of the things she needs to,” Candrea said. “She has command and is confident, and is not afraid to get hit. We can walk in now with two really good pitchers.”

With the pitching circle solidified, the team will continue to stress the mental game and stepping to the plate with consistency and a plan.

“We’re still giving away at-bats, we need to be aggressive on the plate, widen the strike zone with two strikes,” assistant coach Larry Ray said. “Crazy things have happened, we just have to take care of the pitch.”

Arizona’s conference season got off to a rocky start after being swept by ASU, but the Wildcats are on the rebound after the series win over Stanford.

“Coach Candrea is always harking energy and hopefully it shows up again in this next series” Ray said.

The Huskies host the Wildcats Thursday through Saturday. The first two games are at 6 p.m. while Saturday’s game starts at noon.

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