Arizona Softball opens Regional play with a bang

Washington v Arizona
Washington v Arizona / Christian Petersen/GettyImages

FAYETTEVILLE, AR - Beginning Regional play in Arkansas, Arizona Softball (35-16-1) trounced Villanova in the opening round by a 14-3 final.

Regional play is here for Arizona Softball, and the Wildcats started things with a bang!

Entering the NCAA Tournament as the No. 2 seed in the Fayetteville Regional, the Wildcats took on No. 3 Villanova to begin this weekend's action. 

Getting the start on the bump for the Wildcats was graduate Senior Miranda Stoddard, and the former Kentucky transfer came up big! Lasting three innings, Stoddard would the Wildcats scoreless, surrendering just one hit, all while striking out two Villanova batters.

She would eventually be relieved by Brooke Mannon and Aissa Silva. For Mannon, it wasn't her day as she surrendered all three of the Wildcats' runs. Silva would eventually come on relief, closing out the game and helping propel the Wildcats in their dominant win.

Amid their pitching dominance, Arizona was impressive at the plate. Getting to work early, the Cats jumped out to an 8-0 lead before cruising to the eventual 14-3 victory. Offensively, it was a collective effort from everyone, but both Carlie Scupin and Dakota Kennedy had themselves a day, hitting a combined 5-5 from the dish with five runs scored, four RBIs, and a home run each. 

Jumping out to an 8-0 lead after the first inning, Arizona Softball was dominant throughout, advancing with a 14-3 win!

This one took little time to get going, as the Wildcats brought the bats for this one!

Holding Villanova scoreless in the first inning, Arizona responded in a big way in the bottom half of the inning when a few timely hits set up Carlie who would single to left, bringing in one run.

Moments later, the dominance persisted as Arizona continued to pepper the ball all over the field, getting timely hit after timely hit.

Leading 6-0 with two outs in the first, Dakota would come up to bat, using a patient at-bat where she would eventually turn on a 2-1 pitch that she drove to center field as she capitalized the inning with an emphatic two-run home run.

Holding Villanova scoreless again, Arizona would respond in the second inning as well, as Carlie opened the inning with a solo home run to make it 9-0, Cats.

Leading comfortably, Villanova would find a bit of offensive rhythm in the top of the fourth, plating three runs as they cut into Arizona's lead. But as Aissa Silva came in to relieve Brooke Mannon, Aissa put down the Wildcats in order as she stopped Villanova's offensive barrage.

Arizona would respond once again, using a big fourth inning to plate five more runs in this one, as more timely hits put the Cats in front, 14-3.

After a quiet fifth and holding Villanova scoreless, the game would be cut short due to the run rule as Arizona went on to win by a 14-3 final.

With the win, the Wildcats improve to 35-16-1 (13-11) on the year and will now turn their focus towards host Arkansas. First pitch is set for Saturday at 12:00 P.M.

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