Arizona softball routed by Florida
TEMPE, Ariz. – The Arizona softball team dropped its final game of the Kajikawa Classic on Sunday, losing 14-3 to 14th-ranked Florida to finish the weekend 3-2. Florida improved to 5-0 with wins on the day over Cal, Oregon and Arizona.
The Gators sent 10 batters to the plate in the top of the first inning with the help of five free bases through the combination of walks, hit-by-pitches and errors. Florida plated five runs in the frame, three of them unearned.
The five runs would be plenty, but the Gators added on with two in the third and then four home runs afterward, the last of which was a pinch-hit grand slam by Bailey Castro that gave the Gators the 14-3 win.
Chelsea Goodacre went deep for the Cats, her first homer of the season. The sophomore’s solo shot came in the fourth inning to get Arizona on the board.
Brigette Del Ponte notched her seventh RBI of the season and 202nd of her career when she doubled in Chelsea Suitos in the fifth inning. Kelsey Rodriguez followed with an RBI of her own.
Despite losing by 11 runs, Arizona was outhit only 9-6. The six hits came from six different players.
Arizona pitchers issued 10 walks and hit two batters while the defense committed two errors, accounting for 16 free bases for Florida. Shelby Babcock allowed seven runs, four earned, on just four hits in 2 1/3 innings. The junior struck out two and walked seven while dropping to 2-2 on the year. Estela Piñon entered with one out in the third and pitched well until a rough seventh inning. Piñon gave up three home runs in the seventh, including a grand slam in the Gators’ six-run frame.
Lauren Haeger earned the win for Florida. Haeger pitched four innings and allowed three runs on five hits with three strikeouts and four walks to improve to 2-0. Hannah Rogers finished the job for the Gators, pitching two innings and allowing only two baserunners.
Arizona returns home to host the Hillenbrand Invitational from Feb. 15-17. The Cats welcome in Nebraska, Drake, Southern Utah, Purdue and Utah State for the three-day, 15-game event. Arizona opens with a doubleheader on Friday when it takes on Nebraska and Drake at 4 p.m. and 6 p.m.