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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Arizona softball wins two games in fall season-opening double header

Larry Hogan / Arizona Daily Wildcat

The Arizona softball team opened its fall season with shutout victories on Sunday at Hillenbrand Stiadum against Yavapai College 9-0 and 1-0 Eastern Arizona College on Sunday. Against Yavapai, the Wildcats’ pitchers combined to pitch a perfect game.

“There are two parts to the game that you really have to be solid at, at this level one is pitching and the other is defense,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “Defensively we’ve got some growing to do, which is pitch recognition more than anything.”

In her Arizona debut, junior transfer Estela Piñon took on her former team, limiting Yavapai College to zero hits in a four-inning stint.

Arizona scored nine runs off eight hits against Yavapai College, seven of which came in the first inning.

In the bottom of the first inning, senior third baseman Brigette Del Ponte put the Wildcats on the scoreboard with a double.

The bases were loaded for Arizona as sophomore second baseman Chelsea Goodacre came up to bat.

After Yavapai’s pitcher Katherine Macias hit Goodacre with the ball, the Wildcats came away with another run, giving Arizona a 2-0 lead.

Still in the bottom of the first, junior first baseman Kelsey Rodriguez was next up to bat and brought in two additional hitters, extending Arizona’s lead to 4-0.

The big play for the Wildcats came from freshman left fielder Mandie Perez in her collegiate debut.

Perez hit the ball out of the park, racking up three additional runs in the bottom of the first inning for the Wildcats as they led 7-0.

“I wasn’t thinking of going for a home run,” Perez said. “I went up there trying to get a base hit to get my teammate in. The home run just showed off how hard I have been working and it was really exciting that it was my first collegiate hit.”

In the fifth inning, junior pitcher Shelby Babcock came in for Piñon to pitch the rest of the game.

Hits by freshman first baseman Darcy Taylor and freshman second baseman Courtney Rodriguez brought runners home in the bottom of the fifth and sixth innings respectively.

In the second game of the day, it was a defensive showdown with Babcock back in the circle, leading Arizona against Eastern Arizona College.

The Wildcats’ perfect game streak ended in the top of the second inning after a line drive made it just over Arizona’s infield into the outfield, putting Eastern Arizona College on base.

Finally, in the bottom of the second inning, Arizona’s Kelsey Rodriguez hit the ball deep in the midfield for a double. However, Arizona’s batters could not feed off Rodriguez’s momentum as the team went scoreless into the bottom of the second inning.

In the top of the third inning, the Wildcats made a lineup change as freshman pitcher Nancy Bowling made her debut.

Finally, in the bottom of the fourth inning, with Wildcat runners on second and third, Goodacre stepped up to bat, hitting it deep in the outfield and bringing Del Ponte in for Arizona’s first and only run of the game.

According to Candrea, the Wildcats still need to work on pitch recognition, as they struggled with making contact with the ball in the second game.

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