Arizona softball takes down Tennessee State, No. 4 Alabama
TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona pitchers allowed a total of one run on four hits in the softball team’s Day 3 sweep at the Hillenbrand Invitational on Saturday.
The Wildcats defeated Tennessee State 10-1 in five innings in the early game before earning their biggest win of the young season with a 3-0 shutout of fourth-ranked Alabama.
With the sweep, Arizona improved to 7-0 on the season. The Wildcats have outscored their opponents 61-3, and five of their seven games have been five-inning mercy-rule contests. Additionally, Arizona pitchers have hurled five shutouts. For the season, the Wildcats have a team ERA of 0.54 and a team batting average of .426.
The Cats knocked six homers in the two games Saturday, four against the Tigers and two against the Crimson Tide. Hallie Wilson homered twice on the day, her second and third homers of the season. Freshman Katiyana Mauga hit her first career big fly, Lauren Young blasted her second of the season and Kellie Fox and Chelsea Goodacre each homered, giving them a team-best four homers apiece.
ARIZONA 10, TENNESSEE STATE 1
After a slow start, Arizona’s bats came alive in the third inning, as the Wildcats plated four in the third and six in the fourth to run-rule the Tigers.
UA pitchers limited Tennessee State (2-7) to just a single baserunner, a solo home run by Jayna Hanawahine to lead off the fourth.
Freshman Michelle Floyd (1-0) pitched three innings and earned her first career victory in the game. Floyd did not allow a baserunner and struck out two of the nine batters she faced. After allowing a home run to the first batter she faced, Nancy Bowling, who entered in relief in the fourth inning, sat down the final six batters she faced, fanning four.
The offense, after recording just a single hit during the first two innings, plated 10 runs on 11 hits in the contest, four of which landed over the fence. Wilson, Mauga, Fox and Goodacre homered in the contest.
In the third, Arizona scored four unearned runs, all with two out. Fox’s three-run homer opened the scoring and Goodacre, the next batter, followed with a solo shot of her own.
Tennessee State would respond with a Hanawahine solo homer in the top of the fourth, its only hit of the game.
In the bottom half, UA would send 12 to the plate and score six runs. Three straight singles started the inning before Wilson launched her first-career grand slam to right center. Mauga would follow with her first career homer. Kelsey Rodriguez’s RBI double would plate Arizona’s 10th run of the game before UA would load the bases. The Cats could not push additional runs across, however.
ARIZONA 3, ALABAMA 0
Arizona pitchers hurled a three-hit gem to shut out fourth-ranked Alabama, which was averaging better than 10 runs per game in its first eight games.
UA pitchers Estela Pinon and Kenzie Fowler combined to strike out 12 Alabama hitters, with Pinon notching nine of those Ks to tie a career high. Pinon pitched five innings and did not allow a run on three hits. The senior improved to 2-0 with the victory.
Fowler pitched two innings of no-hit ball with three strikeouts and one walk, but had to leave the game during the fifth inning when an Andrea Hawkins line drive struck Fowler in the face.
Alabama ace Jaclyn Traina (2-1), who sported a 0.64 ERA entering the contest, went the distance for the Crimson Tide and allowed three runs, two earned, on six hits in six innings pitched. Traina struck out three and walked five in the contest.
The Wildcats notched six hits in the contest, two off the bat of Alex Lavine. Wilson and Young each hit solo homers in the game.
Arizona got to Traina early, loading the bases in the first two innings and putting two on in the third. Although the Cats were able to strike for a run in each of the three innings, they stranded eight runners through three and left nine on for the game.
Wilson set the tone with a leadoff homer in the bottom of the first to give Arizona the early lead.
An error, a walk and a single loaded the bases in the second inning for Arizona with one out. Fox drew a bases-loaded walk to drive in Arizona’s second run of the game, adding to her team-high 16 RBI on season.
In the third, Young hit a one-out solo home run to left field to plate UA’s third run of the contest.
Alabama rarely threatened offensively, getting a runner in scoring position in just three innings against UA pitching. The Crimson Tide put two runners on in the third and fifth innings, but failed to score.