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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Back on track

The Arizona Wildcats softball team swept its first Pacific 10 Conference series of the season, defeating the Stanford Cardinal in three games in Palo Alto, Calif.

The No. 7 Wildcats (32-6, 3-0 Pac-10) defeated the No. 12 Cardinal 8-0 in five innings on Friday, 6-1 on Saturday and 2-0 on Sunday.

“”Overall, the team just played very competitively with a lot of energy, a lot of positive atmosphere,”” said head coach Mike Candrea. “”As a coach, you kind of wait to see this all come together, and I think this weekend we put all the pieces together.””

Arizona completed the sweep thanks in large part to the arm of sophomore pitcher Kenzie Fowler and the bat of third baseman Brigette Del Ponte. Fowler picked up two wins over the weekend and allowed four hits in 15.1 innings pitched against Stanford (24-7, 0-3).

“”It was a very good weekend,”” Candrea said. “”I think we played, finally, our best softball. Kids had great energy and great performance.””

Candrea said Fowler’s performance was “”nice to see”” after she had to adjust her pitching motion for the second time this season.

Del Ponte doubled four times on Friday and Saturday, with two in each game. She also had a home run on Sunday,

“”The thing about her is she’ll run into one now and then and hit it a long ways,”” Candra said. “”I thought she had some really good

at bats.””

Fowler (20-4) started off the weekend for the Wildcats and held the Cardinal to just one hit and three base runners as the Wildcats defeated Stanford 8-0 in five innings.

Arizona brought its offense to Palo Alto on Friday, scoring five runs in the first three innings. Three more in the fourth would be enough to call the game by run-rule.

Saturday saw the Wildcats play their first full-inning game since March 18. It was also the first conference win for freshman pitcher Shelby Babcock (12-2,) who got

the start.

The Wildcats completed the sweep in the tightest game of the series on Sunday. An RBI from right fielder Karissa Buchanan and Del Ponte’s home run were the difference in the game.

Arizona is on the road again next weekend when it visits the Oregon State Beavers in Corvallis, Ore.

“”It’s always good to start Pac-10 strong,”” Candrea said. “”Anytime you can go on the road and win three it’s good.

“”Their approach to the game this weekend was outstanding and hopefully they can duplicate that again,”” Candrea said.

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