SALT LAKE CITY, UT – Seventeenth-ranked Arizona softball (22-10, 2-2 Pac-12) tallied 13 hits, one off its season best, and downed Utah (13-15-1, 0-4 Pac-12) 6-4 in the second game, and first ever Pac-12 contest, played at the brand new Utah Softball Stadium.
Arizona scored four runs in the first inning, while its pitchers allowed four runs in seven innings, in the victory.
Two Wildcats had three-hit nights; Mandie Perez and Chelsea Goodacre each recorded a double and two singles. Perez batted in two runs, Goodacre one.
Arizona pitchers struck out six batters, four by starter Nancy Bowling in three innings. Bowling allowed three runs on five hits with two walks in the start. Shelby Babcock entered to begin the fourth inning and allowed just one run in relief. Babcock allowed six hits but did not walk a batter. The junior improved to 11-3 with the victory.
Naomi Amu, the Utah starter, allowed five runs, four earned, on 10 hits in 4.2 innings pitched. Amu fell to 7-6 with the loss. Kayce Nieto allowed a run on three hits in relief. Nieto pitched the final 2.1 innings.
The Cats started quickly with four runs in the top of the first. Chelsea Suitos drew a one out walk and scored from first on a deep double by Goodacre. Brigette Del Ponte singled to put runners on the corners with one out. Lauren Young's sac fly made it 2-0. Kelsey Rodriguez singled and moved to second on the throw to put two on for Perez. The freshman singled home a couple to make it 4-0 after a half an inning.
The Utes led off each of the next three innings with extra base hits, all three of which would come around to score to make it 4-3 after three innings.
Perez led off the fourth inning with a single. After a pair of fielder's choices, Alex Lavine stole second and scored on Hallie Wilson's single that was bobbled by the left fielder to make it 5-3.
Both teams left the bases loaded in the next two half innings.
Kelsi Hoopiiaina homered in the seventh inning to make it a two run game, but Babcock retired the next three batters to preserve victory.
The Cats will try to preserve the series win when the two teams meet Friday at 6:00 p.m. MDT.
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