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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    No picnic for UA softball

    No picnic for UA softball

    Arizona softball’s Hillenbrand Invitational went as planned with the exception of a single game, as the Wildcats out-batted and outplayed Minnesota, Creighton and St. Joseph’s to win five of six games while averaging 13.8 runs per game.

    Initially, the weekend’s schedule looked like a walk in the park for Arizona (21-5), but as it turned out, one of the games was no picnic – literally.

    In double-headers, the Wildcats usually sit in the inviting left-field grass to eat snacks between the two games, but after losing 6-0 the first game against Creighton Saturday, their regular picnic was overtaken by a lengthy Mike Candrea speech.

    “”He came out, criticized us a little bit, told us what we need to do to win the game,”” said shortstop K’Lee Arredondo. “”I think some people finally got it through their heads what we need to do.””

    That speech bled into the Wildcats’ second game against the Blue Jays, which they soundly won 19-2.

    “”It felt great to put it down their throat a little bit,”” third baseman Jenae Leles said. “”They just flat-out beat us in the first game. We tip our hat to them, but they weren’t going to beat us again.””

    Leles finished the weekend with 18 RBI, including a pair of two-home-run games, showing why she was pegged as one of the top 50 players in college softball.

    After the rough Saturday split, the Wildcats were sure not to come out flat again. Against St. Joseph’s, Arizona scored 14 and 20 runs respectively, giving up five runs behind pitcher Lindsey Sisk (10-2) and one run with rising redshirt senior Jennifer Martinez, who earned her first win as a Wildcat and has only complicated the questions in the pitching rotation.

    “”Jennifer threw well,”” Candrea said. “”The one thing she has is that off-speed pitch. It really gives you something to think about and keeps you off balance.””

    “”Other than that one pitch (which resulted in a St. Joseph’s homerun), she did what she was supposed to do,”” he added.

    Martinez received offensive aid in the final two innings of her run-rule shortened start, when the hitters exploded for 13 runs. The Wildcats blasted six home runs, just one off the school record of seven.

    UA sweeps Minnesota

    Matched against their former coach while playing at Arizona, co-head coaches Lisa Bernstein and Julie Standering saw their Golden Gophers drop 10-4 and 20-3 games to their former mentor.

    But in the first contest, Arizona found trouble in the first and second innings when they loaded the bases. Each time, Minnesota pitcher Briana Hassett got out of the jam to leave all six runners stranded. Minnesota took advantage by scoring four runs in the top of the third inning.

    The Wildcats quickly responded during the bottom of the third when Leles hit a two-run homer to left field and Brittany Lastrapes knocked in Laine Roth and Lauren Schutzler to tie the game at four apiece.

    Arizona scored three runs in the fourth inning and another three in the sixth to solidify their win before lighting up the scoreboard for 20 runs in their second match against the Golden Gophers.

    “”I don’t think any of us expected that we would get a loss this weekend,”” Lastrapes said about the expectations coming into the weekend. “”It was a reality check for us. We can’t take anyone for granted.””

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