UA softball opens Wildcat Invitational with wins

TUCSON, Ariz. – The 17th-ranked Arizona softball team swept its first two games at the Wildcat Invitational on Saturday, routing UC Riverside 12-2 before beating Boston University 6-3 to close the night.
The Wildcats improved to 12-5 on the season while UC Riverside fell to 6-10 and Boston University dropped to 2-5.
Game 1: Arizona 12, UC Riverside 2
Arizona scored a total of nine runs in five games last week at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic. In its first game of the Wildcat Invitational, UA batted in nine runs before the fourth inning en route to a five-inning mercy-rule win.
The Wildcats wasted no time heating up, plating six runs in the first inning of play at the event. Brigette Del Ponte’s three-run home run highlighted the inning, and along with starting in the circle, Nancy Bowling ripped an RBI double to left-center to add on to the 3-0 lead.
Riverside responded with two runs, but junior Shelby Babcock would come in and close the door on the Highlanders, allowing no runs and just two hits the rest of the way as Arizona pulled away for the win.
Game 2: Arizona 6, Boston University 3
UA junior Estela Piñon got three runs of support in the first inning, then went six innings in the circle and allowed three runs on just five hits to pick up her fourth win of the season.
The Wildcats again got on the board early, as Chelsea Goodacre singled in two runs to begin the first. Arizona added a third run when Mandi Perez walked with the bases loaded.
In the bottom of the third, Arizona tacked on to its lead when Lauren Young belted a two-run homer to deep left-center to make it 5-0. The home run was Young’s second of the season.
BU responded in the top of the sixth with three runs and threatened to add more. But with two runners on, a fantastic play by Del Ponte at shortstop ended the inning with Arizona holding onto a 5-3 lead.
Babcock replaced Piñon in the circle in the top of the seventh and went on to record her first save of the season.
The Wildcat Invitational continues Saturday, with Arizona taking on Boston University at 4 p.m. and Portland State at 6 p.m.