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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Busy weekend for softball

    Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat

Softball takes on UTEP in a double-header Wednesday evening.
    Michael Ignatov
    Michael Ignatov / Arizona Daily Wildcat Softball takes on UTEP in a double-header Wednesday evening.

    The Arizona softball team will play in three doubleheaders as they host the Hillenbrand Invitational this weekend.

    The Wildcats welcome the Minnesota Golden Gophers (10-11), the Creighton Blue Jays (5-5) and the St. Joseph’s Hawks (4-3) to Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium as Arizona hosts its second tournament of the year.

    “”The biggest thing for us is to improve and get better each time we walk on the field,”” said UA head coach Mike Candrea. “”I’m more concerned about our execution than who we’re playing at this point.””

    After a two-game series with UTEP in which Arizona took both games, the team will look to build another winning streak before heading into Pacific 10 Conference play later this month. The Wildcats’ bats came alive in the first game, winning 20-1, but the second game was won in comeback fashion.

    Although Lindsey Sisk and Laine Roth did not participate in the mid-week doubleheader with UTEP, both Arizona starters return to the field for the Wildcats this weekend, Candrea said.

    Arizona hopes the bats will continue to be hot, especially at home as it boasts a perfect home record of 8-0.

    Catcher Stacie Chambers is riding a 14-game hitting streak, an Arizona record.

    “”It will be a very competitive field, some good teams and a good time for us to be at home and play some good games,”” Candrea said.

    Arizona opens up the tournament with two games against Minnesota at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. Although they do not have a power-hitting lineup, the Golden Gophers’ strength rests with their senior pitcher Briana Hassett (10-6) who has struck out 156 batters in just 107 innings.

    After losing three games in a row, Creighton hopes its luck will turn around in the desert. It will face Arizona in Saturday’s games at 4:00 and 6:30 p.m. Last year, the Blue Jays surprised Arizona and handed them a loss in the finale of the invitational with a 2-1 victory.

    Three of St. Joseph’s games have been canceled this season, but the forecast is all clear for softball this weekend. The Hawks are riding a three-game winning streak and are led by Monica Aguilar, a freshman who has a .455 batting average.

    Although they will have played eight games in a five day span, the Wildcats aren’t worried about fatigue.

    “”I love playing doubleheaders,”” Chambers said with a smile. “”They take a long time, but they’re fun.””

    Although playing softball is fun, Arizona is all business when it steps on to the field.

    “”Whatever comes my way and our team’s way,”” said freshman Lini Koria, who hit a home run against UTEP, “”just try to hit the ball well and just play our game.””

    With the rapidly approaching Pac-10 season just two weeks away, Candrea hopes this weekend, and the games to come, will get the Wildcats ready and help them gain confidence going into conference play.

    “”All you can really worry about is the things you can control,”” said Candrea. “”We’ve got some weeks to get ourselves prepared.””

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