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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona softball alternates wins and losses at Mary Nutter Classic

It’s not an understatement to say Arizona softball had a weekend full of highs and lows. The No. 13 Wildcats hit the road for the first time and alternated wins and losses, going 2-3 at the Mary Nutter Classic in Palm Springs, Calif. The Wildcats faced four ranked teams over the five games and moved their 2015 record to 11-3.

Arizona’s most recent game had the chance to end the weekend on a positive note. However, the Wildcats suffered a 2-3 defeat at the hands of No. 18 Missouri on Saturday night.

The Tigers jumped out early with two runs in the first inning off Arizona pitcher Michelle Floyd and held off a late UA rally in the home half of the seventh inning. Shortstop Kellie Fox was one of just four Wildcats to record a hit against Missouri and had the only Arizona RBI of the game.

Arizona was down 3-1 heading into the seventh inning and needed a seemingly improbable rally to tie things up. After a wild pitch scored a run, the game ended with the tying run on third base, and the Wildcats were left wondering what could have been.

Friday was a bit more fruitful for the Wildcats as the team defeated Northwestern 7-6 but lost to No. 14 LSU, 4-3.

LSU jumped out against Floyd and picked up the early lead, much like the Missouri game. The Tigers put up three runs through the first three innings and chased Floyd from the game after four innings of work.

Arizona put up three runs in the sixth inning to make it a one-run margin but couldn’t come up with a seventh inning rally to tie the lead.

Floyd, a sophomore, suffered the first two losses of her collegiate career by losing to LSU and Missouri.

The matchup with Northwestern ended the day on a positive note, as the two teams of Wildcats battled to a 7-6 Arizona victory.

Arizona jumped out to a five-run lead through the home half of the fourth inning and looked to be well on the way to a big win. However, Northwestern put up five runs in the fourth inning alone and chased Arizona starter Trish Parks from the mound.

Parks gave up four earned runs in 3 2/3 innings and struck out seven on 50 pitches.

Arizona came up to bat in the top half of the seventh inning with a chance to grab the lead after each team added a run in the sixth. The UA snagged the go-ahead run on a Northwestern wild pitch, and Floyd closed out the bottom half of the inning to end the game.

Arizona catcher Chelsea Goodacre went 1-2 from the plate with a two-run home run against Northwestern. The home run was Goodacre’s 50th of her Arizona career.

Thursday’s matchups saw Arizona take on No. 11 Kentucky and No. 3 Oklahoma. The Wildcats split the matchups, losing 5-2 against Kentucky and defeating Oklahoma 5-4.

Arizona opened the classic with a Thursday morning game against Kentucky and Parks looked like a freshman for the first time in her collegiate career.

Kentucky scored two runs in both the second and third innings to knock Parks out of the game after just three innings of work. Only four UA players recorded a hit, with outfielder Eva Watson putting up three of the team’s seven hits on the game.

Parks recorded the loss for the first defeat in her collegiate career. 

Thursday’s night cap with Oklahoma wasn’t too different from a hits perspective, but the result was night and day compared to the Kentucky matchup.

The Wildcats jumped out on the higher ranked team by putting up four runs over the first five innings of the game and holding the Sooners scoreless. However, Oklahoma’s star first baseman, Lauren Chamberlain, hit her 79th career home run in the sixth inning to cut Arizona’s lead to 4-2.

After the Sooners added two more runs in the top half of the seventh inning, everything changed. Fox came up to bat and belted a walk-off solo home run to give Arizona a stunning 5-4 victory.

Looking forward, Arizona is off until Friday when Colorado State and UTEP come to Hillenbrand Stadium for the first two of six weekend games for the Wildcats.


Follow Roberto Payne on Twitter.

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