Arizona Softball easily handles Gauchos - Tucson News Now

Arizona Softball easily handles Gauchos

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TUCSON, Ariz. – Nineteenth-ranked Arizona softball (26-13, 4-5 Pac-12) defeated UC Santa Barbara (21-15, 2-4 Big West), 9-0, to complete the two-game series sweep at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium this weekend.

Arizona scored seven runs in the third inning, punctuated by Mandie Perez's grand slam, to break the game open.

Shelby Babcock started in the circle for the Wildcats and pitched four shutout innings on three hits, one walk and three strikeouts. Babcock's record improved to 13-5. Nancy Bowling relieved Babcock in the fifth and struck out two batters.

Six Arizona batters recorded hits on Sunday afternoon. Hallie Wilson, Chelsea Suitos, Kelsey Rodriguez, and Perez each had two apiece, while Chelsea Goodacre and Gabby Sandstedt had one each.

After two scoreless innings, Arizona's offense broke out in the bottom of the third, recording seven runs – all coming after two outs. Perez's grand slam highlighted the inning.

Sandstedt led off the third inning by getting hit by a pitch and two Arizona outs proceeded, keeping Sandstedt on first. Suitos advanced Sandstedt with an infield single, putting runners on first and second. K. Rodriguez drove in Sandstedt for the game's first run and advanced Suitos to third with a base hit to right field. Goodacre followed with a single to right, driving in Suitos and K. Rodriguez to make Arizona's lead 3-0. After Brigette Del Ponte walked and Young reached on an error, the bases were loaded for Perez. Standing on a 2-2 count, Perez belted a pitch over the left-field wall for her first career grand slam and fourth home run of the season.

In the Arizona fourth, three-consecutive base hits from Wilson, Suitos, and K. Rodriguez loaded the bases with Goodacre stepping into the plate. Goodacre hit into a fielder's choice that drove in Arizona's eighth run and recorded her third RBI of the day. Del Ponte added Arizona's final run with a sacrifice fly.

Bowling came out of the bullpen in the fifth and pitched a one-two-three inning to end the game via the mercy rule.

UP NEXT: Arizona softball will travel to Las Cruces, N.M., for a doubleheader against New Mexico State. Game one is scheduled at 4:00 p.m. PT on Tuesday, April 9 and game two following at 6 p.m.

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