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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Softball defeats ASU

Before the weekend series against ASU, Arizona softball shortstop K’Lee Arredondo said the Wildcat offense would have to feel out Sun Devil ace Hillary Bach (15-2) and “”adjust the second time around.””

Turns out, they decided to jump on the ace right from the start.

Arizona’s first five hitters tapped home base during the first inning as the Wildcats (29-3, 1-0 Pacific 10 Conference) rolled to a 12-6 win against the Sun Devils (31-5, 0-1) in Tempe Thursday night.

“”I felt like we had a decent practice (Wednesday), and I felt like today (we) came to the ballpark,”” head coach Mike Candrea said. “”They weren’t hyperactive, but I think they were ready to go.””

After two singles by outfielders Brittany Lastrapes and Lauren Schutzler in the top of the first, Arredondo nabbed a three-run shot off Bach before a two-run bomb by freshman Brigette Del Ponte brought herself and catcher Stacie Chambers home for Arizona, earning a 5-0 lead.

But the Sun Devils’ offense quickly returned the favor after Wildcat pitcher Kenzie Fowler (19-2) allowed four runs in the bottom of the first. She walked the first three ASU batters, loading the bases and getting herself in a jam, but Candrea said that from first glance, it wasn’t a matter of her nerves.

“”I would say that the (strike) zone tonight was pretty small to say the least,”” Candrea said. “”Kenzie did a good job of just hanging in there. She had to throw it perfect to get a strike, at least that’s how I saw it.””

Whether she was battling nerves or a small strike zone, Fowler remained calm with a 5-4 lead after the first inning, shutting out the Sun Devils for the next four innings.

Meanwhile, the Arizona offense tallied three more runs in the third inning and another three in the fifth, bringing their lead to 11-4.

In the third, eight-slot hitter Kristen Arriola hit a bases-loaded, two-out double for two RBIs. They were the only RBIs scored by a hitter outside the top-5 in the rotation.

“”When we get some production from the bottom half,”” Candrea said, “”we score a bunch of runs.””

Chambers began the sixth inning with a homer, giving Arizona an eight-run lead. The Sun Devils dropped in two more scores in the bottom of the sixth as Katelyn Boyd hit a two-run shot to right field.

But the Wildcats would hold on despite Fowler’s struggle to find the strike zone. She recorded only one strikeout on the evening.

Arredondo and Lastrapes led the team with three RBIs each.

“”We still had some bad at-bats where it felt like we were guessing,”” Candrea said. “”Overall, I can’t complain. This is an endurance test; it’s not a sprint.””


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