Arizona softball overpowers Stanford

TUCSON, Ariz. — The 19th-ranked Arizona softball team earned its first conference win of the season with a 9-1 win in five innings over 13th-ranked Stanford. Arizona plated seven of its nine runs on home runs.

The Wildcats improved to 22-9 overall and 1-4 in Pac-12 play with the win, while the Cardinal fell to 22-9 overall and 1-4 in the conference.

Brigette Del Ponte hit home runs in consecutive at-bats, both two-run shots, to take over the team lead in RBIs with 35. Baillie Kirker matched Del Ponte’s four RBIs with a quartet of her own, driving in a run with a bases-loaded walk in the first and ending the game with a three-run, walk-off home run in the fifth. Nicole Bryan drove in the other Arizona of the run with a free pass in the first inning.

Kenzie Fowler (9-3) earned the win for Arizona; the junior allowed one run on seven hits while striking out seven and issuing just one walk in five innings pitched.
 
Arizona got to Stanford starter Nyree White (5-4) for nine runs, eight earned, on eight hits. White struck out four and walked five in four-plus innings.
 
Six UA players recorded hits on the night, with Del Ponte and Kristen Arriola notching a pair apiece.  
 
After registering just two hits in seven innings in Friday’s loss, the Arizona bats came out hot Saturday night, as the Wildcats brought 10 batters to the plate in the four-run first to take the early lead. Hallie Wilson led off the frame with a single to left field. She was sacrificed to second by Chelsea Suitos and driven home by Del Ponte’s homer to left field. Jessica Spigner walked before Shelby Pendley and Arriola singled to load the bases with just one out. After a Lini Koria strikeout, Kirker, making her first start of the season, walked to bring in a run. Bryan, the nine-hole hitter, then walked to drive in another run and make it 4-0.
 
In the second, Del Ponte homered for the second consecutive inning with a line-drive shot down the left-field line that brought home Suitos, who had singled to begin the inning.
 
White retired the next eight Wildcats in order, a streak Del Ponte ended in the fourth with an intentional walk, the first issued to a UA hitter this season.

Stanford got its only run in the top of the third inning, as Ashley Hansen tripled to center field to score Hanna Winter. Hansen finished with two hits.
 
Arriola started the fifth inning with a single, and Koria then reached on Stanford error. Kirker followed with a home run over the batter’s eye in center field that made it 9-1, ending the game via the mercy rule. It was Kirker’s first home run of the season and gave her seven RBIs in her last four at-bats.