TUCSON – With help from five Kellie Fox RBI, Arizona softball cruised to its second-consecutive run-rule victory over Southern Miss Saturday afternoon, 14-2 in five innings.
Ten different Wildcats contributed hits in the contest, which saw Arizona score 14 runs on 16 hits. Fox and Chelsea Sutios recorded three each.
Fox picked up where she left off Friday night, when she had two hits and drove in four runs. In her first at-bat Saturday, the junior drilled a home run to left field, a three-run blast. She would follow with RBI singles in each of her next two at-bats, giving her five for the game and nine for the season.
Nancy Bowling (1-0) and Shelby Babcock tag-teamed in the circle for the victory. The starter Bowling allowed one run on two hits while walking three and striking out three in three innings. Babcock pitched the final two innings and allowed a run on three hits with one walk and three strikeouts.
Shelbee Rodgers (0-1) took the loss for the Golden Eagles. Rodgers allowed eight runs on seven hits in two innings pitched. Danielle Block pitched the final two innings and allowed six runs, five earned, on nine hits with one strikeout.
Arizona used three home runs to power its way past USM. Fox, Chelsea Goodacre and Hallie Wilson each homered in the game, UA's first three long balls of the season.
Fox, who had a pair of RBI extra-base hits in Friday's game, continued the trend Saturday when she homered in her first at-bat, bringing in Hallie Wilson and Chelsea Suitos, who walked and singled to begin the bottom of the first.
The Cats added on in the second inning when it scored five runs, all with two outs. Suitos drove in Courtney Rodriguez with an infield hit before Fox plated her fourth run of the game, and eighth of the season, with a grounder to the left side. Another run scored on USM error before Goodacre bombed a two-run homer to right field to put Arizona on top 8-0.
Arizona added another five-spot in the third inning. Freshman Mo Mercado doubled and scored on classmate Katiyana Mauga's pinch-hit double in her first career at-bat. Wilson followed with her first homer of the season, a three-run bomb. Fox knocked her third hit of the game and drove in her fifth run of game with a single up the middle.
In the fourth, Courtney Rodriguez singled, her fourth hit of the season in four-at bats, and scored on Cynthia Pelayo's first career hit, a single through the right side.
Arizona will go for the sweep Sunday at 11:00 a.m. MST at Hillenbrand Stadium.