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Arizona softball: Wildcats rally to open Tucson Regional with 4-2 win

A lot closer than it needed to be

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It took five innings, but the Arizona bats finally came alive against St. John's, launching three home runs and downing the Red Storm by a score of 4-2.

The win moves the Wildcats into the winners bracket, where they fill face the Minnesota Golden Gophers Saturday afternoon at 12:30 PM.

St. John's scored a run in the fourth after an error by Kellie Fox at short, and another error by Chelsea Suitos in left.

But an inning and a half later, Hallie Wilson erased those two errors with a home run to straight-away center.

Arizona had failed to convert many opportunities on the night leading up to that Wilson home run, which was her 12th of the season.

St. John's pitcher Tori Free gave up just five hits on the night, but also walked eight batters.

Unfortunately for her, three of those five hits were home runs.

In the sixth, the Wildcats took their first lead of the postseason thanks to Chelsea Goodacre, who took one off the top of the scoreboard in right. Three batters later, Lauren Young added some much-needed insurance runs with a two-run shot to left-center.

The Red Storm battled back in the 7th. Another error, this one by second baseman Mo Mercado, gave St. John's their second run of the night, and put runners on the corners.

The first out of the seventh came on a play at the plate. Kellie Fox came home with the grounder, and Goodacre got the tag down to preserve the two-run lead.

A groundout to third and a walk loaded the bases with two down for the dangerous Krystal Puga. But Michelle Floyd was able to get her fourth strikeout of the night, and finished the complete game bid.

Floyd surrendered seven hits and two walks on the night, resulting in just the one earned run in the 7th. She threw 120 pitches in her complete game, 77 of them for strikes.

Not a great way to start postseason play, but a win's a win, and the Wildcats are one step closer to another Super Regional appearance.