Devyn Netz pitched 2.1 innings of one-hit softball to lower her ERA to 0.47 and help Arizona softball finish the Hillenbrand Invitation 4-1. The Wildcats defeated Long Beach State 12-2 in five innings to improve their overall record to 7-2.
Freshman Madi Elish started the game. She pitched 2.2 innings giving up four hits. Two runs scored, one of them earned, before she was lifted for Netz with two outs in the third inning. Elish had a 6-2 lead at the time, but did not figure into the decision because she came up one out short of qualifying.
Netz entered the game for Elish and got the final out of the inning, then went on to keep a clean slate over the next two to get the win. That improved her record to 3-0 on the season.
Arizona got seven hits, including home runs from both Allie Skaggs and Sophia Carroll. It was Skaggs’ fourth homer of the season and Carroll’s first. The home run was Skaggs’ eighth hit of the season, meaning half of her hits have been round-trippers. It tied her with Sharlize Palacios and Carlie Scupin for the team high in shots that left the park. Her 13 RBI trail only Palacios’ 17 for the Wildcats.
Skaggs also added two walks to her total, giving her six on the season. That trails only Palacios (10) and Janelle Meoño (7) for Arizona.
The Wildcats used a big fourth inning to secure the run-rule victory. They headed into the bottom of the fourth leading 6-2. Meoño and Jasmine Perezchica singled to lead off the inning, then Palacios got one of her three walks of the day to load the bases.
A wild pitch allowed Meoño to score and the other two to move up. Skaggs reloaded the bases with one of her two walks, then a Scupin groundout allowed Perezchica to score.
Third base Izzy Pacho knocked Perezchica and pinch runner Amber Toven in with a single to center, putting Arizona up 10-2. Giulia Koutsoyanopulos came in to run for Pacho and stole second, putting another runner in scoring position with two outs.
It turned out that Koutsoyanopulos was in scoring position at first. Carroll stepped up and hit one out for two more runs.
Netz allowed one hit in the top of the fifth, but was able to keep the Beach off the scoreboard and close the game out.
The Wildcats now travel to Cathedral City, Calif. for the Mary Nutter Classic. They will face California Baptist, Cal State Fullerton, Bethune-Cookman, UC Davis, and No. 1 Oklahoma beginning Thursday, Feb. 24.