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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Softball splits two games against New Mexico State

UA+Softball+vs+New+Mexico+State+on+21+March+2012.+After+an+uninspired+beginning+UA+won+6-3+after+scoring+five+runs+in+the+sixth+inning.%0A%0AKeith+Hickman-Perfetti%2F+Arizona+Daily+Wildcat%0A%0A
Keith Hickman-Perfetti
UA Softball vs New Mexico State on 21 March 2012. After an uninspired beginning UA won 6-3 after scoring five runs in the sixth inning. Keith Hickman-Perfetti/ Arizona Daily Wildcat

Arizona softball returned to the field Wednesday night in a doubleheader against New Mexico State with a goal of winning two games before conference play began, but instead split the two, losing 9-5 before winning 6-3.

“You have to give credit to them,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “They did what they needed to in those three innings and put some runs on the board. I’m not going to sit here and make excuses for Arizona.”

The loss put an end to the Wildcats’ nine-game winning streak, dating back to Feb. 24. It also marked the first time the Aggies have ever beaten Arizona at Hillenbrand Stadium, and it was only the Aggies’ fourth win in program history against the Wildcats.

Arizona (19-5) started hot, scoring five runs in the first two innings, thanks to a two-run home run in the first from senior Jessica Spigner and another solo shot from freshman Hallie Wilson in the second.

The start was accompanied by strong pitching from junior Kenzie Fowler, who allowed just two hits through the first five innings, but crumbled after that, allowing New Mexico State to creep back into the game and tie it in the fifth. A three-run homer put the Aggies ahead in the top of the seventh. The loss was Fowler’s first on the season, dropping her record to 8-1.

“We were very hesitant. In the beginning of the game we came out strong,” senior Lini Koria said. “Late in the game, it’s not so much energy, but keeping that focus of attacking our opponent and staying on it.”

In the second game, Arizona was unable to get anything started early on, and the team seemed down following the loss. Trailing 3-1, freshman Hallie Wilson stepped up to the plate and knocked a double into center field, scoring two runs and tying the game at three. Arizona’s bats began to heat up, as Brigette Del Ponte and Spigner each hit doubles after Wilson, pushing the score to 6-3.

The Wildcats never looked back.

“We’re getting into the part of the year where you have to compete,” Candrea said. “You have to compete your butt off from the time you walk in the stadium until the time you leave. We’ll find out a lot about this team, that’s all I can say.”

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