Arizona softball splits with Syracuse, A&M
TEMPE, Ariz. — The Arizona softball team lost its third one-run affair in four games in Saturday’s doubleheader nightcap, falling 5-4 to Texas A&M after run-ruling Syracuse 11-1 in the early game.
Arizona lost just one game all of last season by one run, a 3-2 loss to Baylor on March 13, 2011.
Freshman Shelby Pendley went 6 for 7 on the day with two home runs, a double and four RBIs.
UA will wrap up the weekend with a trip to Farrington Stadium to play Cal State Northridge at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Game 1: Arizona 11, Syracuse 1 (5 innings)
Jessica Spigner went 2 for 2 with a homer and four RBIs while allowing only three Syracuse hits in her first appearance in the circle for Arizona. The Cats took out some frustration after two consecutive losses, jumping all over Syracuse and downing the Orange 11-1 in five innings.
Arizona hit at least three home runs for the third time in four games, as Spigner, Brigette Del Ponte and Pendley each went deep for the second time this season.
Spigner (1-0) struck out two in her Arizona pitching debut. The senior pitched all five innings and kept the Orange hitters off balance all game with a good mix of off-speed pitches.
Arizona crossed the plate at least once in every inning. UA struck for three in the first, one in the second, four in the third, one in the fourth and two in the fifth.
In the first, two infield singles were followed by the Spigner home run that gave UA a 3-0 lead.
The Cats added to the lead in the second on a Chelsea Suitos RBI single.
Syracuse (3-1) got the run back in the bottom half, however, when Shirley Daniels batted in a run on an infield single.
In the third, Arizona had two runners in scoring position with no one out after a Spigner double, a Lini Koria walk and a passed ball. Chelsea Goodacre singled home a run before Pendley cleared the bases with a three-run blast.
Del Ponte padded the lead with a home run in the fourth to give the Cats a 9-1 lead.
UA brought home two more in the fifth with a fielder’s choice and a Spigner RBI sac fly.
The defense held serve in the bottom half to preserve the run-rule outcome.
Game 2: Texas A&M 5, Arizona 4
Arizona fell victim to the long ball in the late game, as home runs drove in four of Texas A&M’s five runs in a 5-4 defeat.
The Wildcats battled back from a 4-2 deficit with two runs in the sixth to tie the score, but May’s homer proved to be the difference in Arizona’s third loss in its first five games.
Arizona outhit Texas A&M 9-6 but stranded 10 base-runners in the loss.
Shelby Babcock fell to 1-3 on the season with the loss. The sophomore went the distance and allowed four earned runs on six hits while striking out eight to tie her career high.
Texas A&M (2-1) scored first on a Nicole Morgan sac fly.
UA answered in the bottom half, loading the bases with only one out on a couple of singles and a walk. Koria drew an RBI walk and Kristen Arriola registered an RBI fielder’s choice to give Arizona a 2-1 lead after one.
An inning later, a couple of walks put two on for Texas A&M nine-hole hitter Kelsea Orsak, who homered to right to give the Aggies a 4-2 lead.
Pendley led off the bottom of the sixth with a home run to cut Texas A&M’s lead to 4-3. Hallie Wilson then doubled before Brigette Del Ponte tied the score with an RBI single.
The tie was short-lived, however, as May led off the seventh inning with a home run to right field. Babcock would get the next three out to keep it a one-run game.
Koria led off the bottom of the seventh with a single up the middle. Sam Davis pinch ran and was sacrificed to second, but Texas A&M pitcher Mel Dumezich stranded Davis with strikeouts of Baillie Kirker and Pendley to end the game.