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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball hopes to prove ‘Worth’ at home

    Freshman first baseman Laine Roth tees off on a pitch at the 2006 Kajikawa Classic in Tempe Saturday. The Arizona softball team is at home this weekend to open its home season when it hosts the Worth Wildcat Tounament starting today.
    Freshman first baseman Laine Roth tees off on a pitch at the 2006 Kajikawa Classic in Tempe Saturday. The Arizona softball team is at home this weekend to open its home season when it hosts the Worth Wildcat Tounament starting today.

    Following a spectacular performance in last weekend’s Kajikawa Classic in Tempe, the No. 3 Arizona softball team comes back to familiar grounds this weekend.

    The Wildcats (6-0) meet Tennessee Tech (1-1) at 4 p.m. today in the first game of the Worth Wildcat Invitational that runs through Sunday at Hillenbrand Stadium.

    Other competitors include No. 18 Missouri (2-1), Texas Tech (2-4), North Carolina State (2-3) and Pacific (2-0).

    After defeating No. 5 Texas and No. 9 Texas A&M at the Classic, the Wildcats moved up two spots in this week’s poll.

    They outscored opponents 36-1 last weekend, with four games ending early because of the eight-run advantage rule.

    “”We did great offensively,”” Arizona head coach Mike Candrea said. “”We just need to be consistent.””

    Home runs, historically a team staple, seemed to come easily for the Wildcats, as the team racked up five.

    One main contributor was freshman first baseman Sam Banister, whose two homers and nine RBIs led the team in both categories.

    “”I never expected to start off this fast,”” Banister said. “”I’m just playing and trying to secure my spot.””

    Candrea said he wasn’t surprised by the production of either Banister or junior college transfer Chelsie Mesa (.526 on-base percentage), a junior infielder.

    “”I knew they had the ability,”” Candrea said.

    After finding plenty of success in the first of the year’s five tournaments, junior shortstop Kristie Fox said the team is looking to make the same impact again this weekend.

    “”It’s always nice to play at home in front of your own fans,”” she said. “”It will be good to be back home.””

    Even though the field is decidedly weaker than the one in Tempe, with only one top-25 opponent, Candrea said his team knows that opponents will be playing their best, so they aren’t going to underplay any of their abilities.

    If Arizona’s bats happen to slow, the team can look to pitchers Alicia Hollowell (3-0, 0.00) and Taryne Mowatt (3-0, 0.41), who each put together solid performances in their first action of the season.

    Hollowell pitched two no-hitters and came one hit from notching a third, while Mowatt allowed just one run in 17 innings with 32 strikeouts.

    “”I think it’s a good place to be going into this weekend,”” Candrea said. “”But it’s still early.””

    Heading into Hillenbrand Stadium to face the pressure of a home crowd again, Fox said the team feels confident.

    “”The team spirit is great,”” Fox said. “”We just need to stay consistent.””

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