TEMPE, AZ – Officially kicking off the 2020 Season, the Arizona Softball team (5-0) is off to one hell of a start, dominating the weekend of action!
Arizona Softball is back and with good timing too, especially as the Cats return to the diamond after finishing the previous year 48-14 (19-5) and went to the College World Series for the first time since 2010.
Returning a large contingency of talent from last season, hopes and expectations are certainly high as the Wildcats try to get back to there, if not perhaps go even further!
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So far to start the 2020 season, it seems like the Wildcats are poised to make another deep run!
Starting off their action on Friday against Kansas in Tempe, the Wildcats came out strong, especially behind the arm of senior pitcher, Mariah Lopez.
From the beginning it was all offense, plating six runs in the first two innings, before ultimately cruising to the 11-5 victory!
Lopez would pick up the win, pitching five innings, surrendering just one earned run, and striking out six.
Game two was a bit too close for comfort as Alyssa Denham got the start, before Lopez would come on in a relief effort for the Cats.
Arizona would come out strong, scoring three runs early on, but Seattle would come storming back scoring a run in the fourth, before tying it in the fifth.
Tied 3-3 heading into the 7th, the Wildcats would respond when Malia Martinez would double to bring in Harper to give Arizona the lead and eventual win at 4-3!
Returning to action the next day, the Wildcats would take on Portland State in game one of their double header.
Once again, the Cats would start hot, scoring three runs in the first inning. Unfortunately, Arizona’s pitching was a little bit rusty to start, surrendering three runs in the first three innings.
Luckily, the Cats’ offense was far too powerful as sophomore Marissa Schuld would come up big in this one, homering in the fourth to bring in two, and later hitting a double in the sixth to put the Cats up for good, where they eventually went on to win 6-3!
Returning to action just a short while later, Arizona would dominate the final game, scoring eight runs in the first three innings, before eventually pacing themselves to the 12-0 win over Western Michigan!
Lopez would get the win in this one, improving to 3-0 after pitching four nearly flawless innings, surrendering just one hit with no earned runs.
Offensively, it would be a team effort once again, but it was Palomino that arguably stole the show, going 1-2 from the plate with three RBI’s, two coming by way of her home run she hit to open the scoring in the first inning.
Heading into Sunday, the Wildcats were looking for their final win of the weekend, which would be a big test against No. 12 Tennessee.
Denham would take to the mound in this one, and boy would the Wildcats come out dominate. Jumping out to a demanding, 5-0 lead after the first inning, the Cats were essentially in cruise control, pacing themselves to the 8-0 win!
Alyssa would be dominant in this one, holding the the Vols to just five hits, meanwhile striking out five Tennessee batters.
It would be a team effort offensively again for Arizona, but it was Palomino and junior Ivy Davis that would power the Cats here, as the two went a combined, 3-6 from the late, plating five runs to help pace Arizona to the win!
With the slew of weekend victories, Arizona begins their season 5-0 and will return to action on Friday when they take on Long Beach State and Northern Iowa in back-to-back games!
At Zona Zealots, we’re excited for the Cats’ hot start and hope they can continue their strong play into this weekend as well! As always, Bear Down, Arizona!