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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball takes trip to Tampa for another tournament

    The Arizona softball team will head to Tampa, Fla., taking on four teams in five games starting today at the University of South Florida Wilson Tournament.

    Much like last week’s Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, the Wildcats will play a double header on Friday and Saturday, then cap off the weekend with a 9 a.m. game on Sunday. For UA head coach Mike Candrea, the cross-country trip offers valuable experience for a young team.

    “”You’ve got to win on the road, so you’ve got to get used to it,”” Candrea said. “”For me, it’s nice to get them on the road because you got a little more captured audience on the weekend and have more time to talk about things.””

    First up will be Marshall, a team who has won three of four games thus far. Mostly relying upon three hitters who are batting over .455, the Thundering Herd will be an early test for either member of the Wildcats’ pitching duo: Lindsey Sisk and Sarah Akamine.

    “”We were all talking about how it just makes us sick to lose,”” said Sisk, who remained positive after losing her first two starts. “”It’s a horrible feeling. You have to know that feeling so you know you don’t want that to happen – you have to step it up.””

    In a 3 p.m. game Friday, Arizona will face the host USF. The Wildcats’ defense will again be challenged by the Bull’s Alison Savarese who has 10 hits in five games played. Arizona will face the Bulls again in Saturday’s 2 p.m. game.

    But before the second contest against USF, Illinois will take some swings at Arizona. Averaging more than four runs per game, Sisk and Akamine will have to limit their mistakes against the Fighting Illini.

    “”Defensively, we played fairly well,”” Candrea said of his team’s performance last weekend. “”Although, we did learn you can’t give people four to five outs in an inning and expect to dodge it. All those little (mistakes) come back to haunt you.””

    The Wildcats wind down the weekend in a match-up against Hofstra, which is lead by senior pitcher Kayleigh Lotti who finished last season with an impressive 23-6 record.

    Arizona’s shaky start to the season can be viewed two ways; either there is little to worry about at such an early juncture in the season or this mostly unproven team is up for a rocky season.

    But the coaches and players are taking somewhat of a middle ground.

    “”We had our positives and our negatives,”” said senior third baseman Jenae Leles. “”We didn’t want to panic and dwell on the negatives, but we know what we need to work on and know what we need to step up.””

    As it is still early in the year, Candrea will still approach his team with a fairly open lineup. All four freshmen on the roster saw time in last weekend’s tournament, and two in particular – outfielder Karissa Buchanan and utility player Lini Koria – will most likely see extensive time on the field.

    With such a young lineup, Candrea will remain patient. He and his veterans preach progress while working through the process of improvement.

    That being said, the team’s veterans know that winning a championship requires a team to find itself focused and prepared.

    “”We have a lot of growing areas,”” said junior shortstop K’Lee Arredondo. “”If we want to meet those growing areas, we have to come together as a team early on. (The younger players) will get there, it just takes time.””

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