It’s a year of transition for everyone involved with Arizona softball. From the coaching staff to the grounds crew to the players on the field, it’s a new group. With that comes uncertainty.
Arizona is still ranked No. 9 in the USA Today/NFCA poll, but the Wildcats already have a loss to Cal State Fullerton. They have also seen turmoil in their pitching ranks as senior Hanah Bowen did not make the trip with her team to the Mary Nutter Classic last week. On Mar. 1, head coach Caitlin Lowe said that Bowen was not with the team and that the press would know more “when (the coaches) know more.” On Friday, they knew more.
Bowen entered the game for the Wildcats in relief of Devyn Netz in the top of the fifth inning of an 11-3 Arizona run-rule win over Iowa State. She pitched one inning, giving up one walk and striking out two.
Netz got the win to improve to 5-1 on the season. She gave up three runs (two of them earned) on four hits and a base on balls. She struck out six.
The Wildcats got home runs from Allie Skaggs, Carlie Scupin, and Paige Dimler. Scupin led the team with four RBI.
It wasn’t all power, though. Jasmine Perezchica stole two bases for Arizona.
Things did not start out well for Netz and the Wildcats. She gave up a home run in the first inning to give her team the deficit. By the middle of the third inning, Arizona was staring up at a 3-0 Iowa State lead.
Then, the bats started working for the Wildcats. Skaggs got Arizona on the board with a one-out homer. Sharlize Palacios followed with a double to center, then she was knocked in by a two-RBI homer by Scupin. Game tied.
Two batters later, a third home run of the inning, this one a solo shot by Dimler, put the Wildcats up by one. They never looked back.
The Cyclones’ defense failed them in the fourth. An error and three wild pitches combined with four hits and two walks resulted in six runs for the Wildcats. Five of them were unearned.
Bowen kept ISU off the board in the top of the fifth, so Arizona went into the offensive half of the inning needing one run to win the game. Perezchica led off with a single then stole second base. Two batters later, Palacios put runners on the corners with a single. An Izzy Pacho RBI single got Perezchica in to push Arizona’s lead to eight runs and end the game early.
Arizona takes the field next against Boise State at 4 p.m. MST on Saturday, Mar. 5. The game will stream on Arizona Live Stream 2.