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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona softball earns first win over ranked team

Tyler Baker
Matthew Fulton / Arizona Daily Wildcat The El Rio Health and Safety fair on Saturday March 23rd consisted of College of Pharmacy grad students offering free health screenings to the public. Screenings that were offered were for cholesterol, asthma, heartburn, vision, and others.

Arizona softball won its first game over a ranked team on Sunday, after almost getting run-ruled on Saturday.

The No. 16 Arizona softball team (21-9, 1-1 Pac-12) evened the three-game conference opening series with No. 17 Washington (23-8, 1-1) with a 7-4 win at Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.

“I think it was really important for us,” sophomore catcher Chelsea Goodacre said. “I mean we’re in Pac-12 play now, it’s really important, we lost [Saturday], but we need to come back and prove to ourselves that we can beat a really good team.”

The ‘Cats and Huskies will wrap up the series tonight at 7 p.m. in Arizona’s Pac-12 Network debut. UA legend Jennie Finch will be an announcer.

Up until Sunday’s win, Arizona had been 0-7 against ranked teams.

“Yeah, it is nice, I’ve heard the press say that we haven’t beaten a ranked team yet,” Goodacre said. “But that didn’t really matter to us, it was all about every game we’re going to win and this time we finally proved to ourselves that we can put it all together.”

Junior Shelby Babcock (9-3) threw a complete game and despite a pitcher warming up in the bullpen three times, got out of numerous jams. She gave up 10 hits, four walks and three runs and struck out two.

“I thought Babcock did a good job today,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “She’s kind of finding herself and trying to slow things down and breathe a little bit and she’s got a good routine going right now and I thought she threw with a little more movement, which is good.”

Goodacre put UA softball ahead 2-0 with a no out two RBI double in the first inning. She was stranded though.

Washington threatened in the second, but Babcock got out of a one out, two runners in scoring position scare.

In the third inning, the Huskies scored on a suicide squeeze even though the bunt appeared foul and then, in an error by the UA, responded in the home half of the third when junior utility player Kelsey Rodriguez drove in two with a single. Then it looked like freshman second baseman Mandie Perez had an RBI, but her bloop knock was ruled foul.

The Wildcats stranded runners at the corners.

Washington tied it at 4-4 with a two out, two-run homer in the fourth.

Then in the fifth, Arizona responded with a solo home run by Chelsea Goodacre, her 12th, and a two out, two-run dinger by Perez.

“Then we got some big hits, I thought that was the key,” Candrea said. “You know, Mandie’s home run was huge and we finally did what we need to do.”

On Saturday night, the Wildcats matched the Huskies’ eight hits, but stranded nine runners and lost 7-1. Half the UA’s hits were for extra bases.

UW sophomore infielder Kimberlee Souza hit two home runs and drove in four runs.

Goodacre, Arizona’s home run leader, hit a solo homer in the sixth inning. Goodacre leads the Wildcats in batting average hitting .419 and RBI with 36.

“I think it’s just I’ve been having a good plan at the plate, good approach, and I’m playing a little bit more free than putting more pressure on myself,” Goodacre said.

Freshman Nancy Bowling (4-4) struck out six, but allowed seven runs on seven hits and five walks in 4.2 innings of work. The Huskies scored three runs in the second and four runs in the fifth inning.

“[Saturday] night we had eight walks, you can’t win too many games when you’re giving up that many free bases,” Candrea said.

Junior Estela Piñon (7-2) pitched the final 2.1 innings in relief and stopped the bleeding. She did not allow a run on one hit and four walks.

Sophomore first baseman/outfielder Hallie Wilson and freshman third baseman Lauren Young each had two hits.

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