Arizona softball powers past Washington
TUCSON, Ariz. – The 16th-ranked Arizona softball team (21-9) bashed its way past 17th-ranked Washington (23-8) with 10 hits in a 7-4 win Sunday to even the series at a game apiece.
The Wildcats entered the day 0-6 against ranked opponents, having scored a total of five runs in those six contests. They bucked that trend, though with their seven-run outburst.
Chelsea Goodacre had a two-RBI double and a home run in the game, giving her a team-best 12 home runs and 36 RBI on the season.
Shelby Babcock did the rest in the circle, as the junior allowed four runs, three earned, on 10 hits. She struck out two and walked four while improving to 10-3 on the year.
The seven runs surrendered by Washington were the most allowed all season by its pitching staff. Bryana Walker allowed seven runs on 10 hits, taking the loss to fall to 12-4 on the season.
Washington's Mandie Perez homered, her third of the year. Perez and Kelsey Rodriguez batted in a pair of runs apiece in the contest.
Arizona needed just three batters to better its offensive output from Saturday night. In the opener, the Cats plated just a single run, while in the first inning Sunday, Hallie Wilson and Chelsea Suitos singled and both scored when Goodacre doubled to left-center. Goodacre would be stranded in scoring position, though, when Walker fanned the next three Wildcats.
The Huskies tied the game with two runs in the third inning. A single, a walk and a passed ball put two runners in scoring position with one out. Hooch Fagaly and Kylee Lahners singled home a run apiece.
UA responded in the bottom half of the frame. Two, two-out singles following a walk loaded the bases with two out for Kelsey Rodriguez. The junior’s line drive single to center scored a pair, allowing Arizona to retake the lead at 4-2.
Washington answered in the top of the fourth in the back-and-forth affair. Whitney Jones led off the inning with a walk. Babcock got the next two Huskies out before Missy Taukeiaho worked Babcock for 14 pitches, the last of which she launched over the left-field fence to tie the game at four.
The score would remain tied until the bottom of the fifth. Goodacre led off the frame with a home run to give the Cats the lead, and Kelsey Rodriguez singled with two out before Perez homered to right field to give the Cats a 7-4 advantage.
The Huskies had plenty of opportunities in the sixth and seventh innings. Washington loaded the bases with no one out in the sixth before Babcock induced a ground ball off the bat of Taukeiaho. Lauren Young collected the grounder and threw it home for one out, and Kelsey Rodriguez flipped it to first for the double play.
In the seventh, Babcock allowed a single and a walk to the first two batters she faced, bringing the potential tying run to the plate with no one out. Kimberlee Souza, who homered twice Saturday, hit a ground ball to third, and for the second consecutive inning, Young started a double play to get the Cats out of trouble.