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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Arizona softball starts the season by sweeping the Candrea Classic

Janelle+Meono+an+outfielder+on+the+Arizona+softball+team%2C+takes+off+to+second+after+a+teammate+hits+the+ball+on+March+12+in+Rita+Hillenbrand+Memorial+Stadium.+The+Wildcats+would+go+on+to+win+10-6.
Nathanial Stenchever

Janelle Meono an outfielder on the Arizona softball team, takes off to second after a teammate hits the ball on March 12 in Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. The Wildcats would go on to win 10-6.

The Candrea Classic started at the University of Arizona on Thursday, Feb. 9, and ran through the weekend until Sunday, Feb. 12. The Wildcats invited California State University Long Beach, the University of Kansas and North Carolina State University to the tournament.

Arizona easily won all five games they played and the run-rule was imposed during all five games.

Thursday, Feb. 9Long Beach State at 6 p.m.

The Wildcats opened the Candrea Classic against Long Beach State on Thursday, Feb. 9.

The ‘Cats, led by head coach Caitlin Lowe, jumped to an early lead in the bottom of the first when catcher Izzy Pacho hit a grand slam on her first at-bat. Later in the first inning, Wildcats’ pitcher Devyn Netz hit her first career home run, adding to the lead.

The Wildcats defense was as strong as their offense throughout the game as well. Netz struck out three batters and picked up her first win of the season. The Wildcats only gave up one run on five hits. Arizona run-ruled Long Beach State in five innings by a score of 9-1.

Friday, Feb. 10Kansas at 4 p.m.

On the second day of the Candrea Classic, the Wildcats faced a doubleheader starting with the University of Kansas.

Arizona’s Ali Blanchard took the mound for the first game. Blanchard and the Wildcat defense held Kansas to only two runs on two hits.

On the offensive side, the Wildcats picked up right where they left off the day before. They scored five runs in the bottom of the second. They then added seven more during the bottom of the third in an inning that felt like it would never end. The Wildcats finished the game with 15 runs on 11 hits and run-ruled Kansas in five innings.

Even though the Wildcats uncharacteristically had no home runs in the game, they grinded out their runs, rolling through three of Kansas’ pitchers.

Friday, Feb. 10Long Beach State at 6 p.m.

For the second game of the night, Arizona softball played Long Beach State again. Netz took the mound again for the Wildcats.

The ‘Cats started the game off hot, stealing home three times on three wild pitches in the first two innings. They earned a total of seven runs on four hits in that time.

The Wildcats would slow down in the fourth as they gave up one run and two hits. This prompted Lowe to pull Netz in the top of the fifth and put in freshman Aissa Silva to pitch the last inning.

The Wildcats once again beat Long Beach State in five innings 9-1 and run-ruled them.

The Wildcats had three players hit by pitches on day two of the Candrea Classic. Three of the pitches hit Pacho alone. Pacho was hit in the foot, chest and back by three different pitchers: two in the first game against Kansas and once against Long Beach State.

Saturday, Feb. 11NC State at 3 p.m.

On Saturday, Feb. 11, Arizona softball took on NC State for the first time in the Candrea Classic.

The Wildcats started Netz at pitcher against NC State’s pitcher, Rylee Wyman.

The ‘Cats took an early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first. They kept that momentum going all the way to the bottom of the fourth, where they finished their scoring with 15 runs on 17 hits.

Netz and the ‘Cats defense only gave up one run on two hits, helping Arizona win with ease.

Netz sealed the win in only five innings, run-ruling NC State and extending her pitching record to 3-0 on the season.

Sunday, Feb. 12NC State at 12 p.m.

Arizona softball took on NC State for the second day in a row on Sunday, Feb. 12.

Blanchard started on the mound for Arizona and take on NC State’s Wyman.

The ‘Cats had a slow start, giving up a pair of hits and a home run to center field by NC State’s MaKayla Marbury in the top of the first. The Cats responded with two runs of their own in the bottom of the first.

After that, the Wildcats got back into their groove, scoring three runs in the bottom of the second and three more in the third. In the bottom of the fourth, the Wildcats scored four runs and Carlie Scupin sealed the deal with a three-run home run to left-center field.

The Wildcats again pulled the win over NC State 15-1, getting the season off to a good start by going undefeated in the Candrea Classic in their first five games.

Looking Ahead

The Wildcats’ next tournament will be in Clearwater, Florida, in the TaxAct Clearwater Invitational starting on Thursday, Feb. 16 and ending on Sunday, Feb. 19.

The Wildcats won’t be back in Tucson until Wednesday, March 1, when they play California State University Bakersfield at Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Stadium.


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