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Arizona softball: Wildcats open season with dominant win over Southern Utah

Arizona starting the season with a bang, a 10-2 win over Southern Utah

Gabe Encinas

The 13th-ranked Arizona Wildcats opened up their 2016 campaign with a big time win in the opening game of the annual Hillenbrand Invitational, a 10-2 decision over the Southern Utah Thunderbirds in just five innings.

SDSU transfer and lefty Danielle O'Toole got the start in the circle for Arizona and gave up a quick score in the first, a home run to pitcher Jordan Theurer. O'Toole quickly bounced back and got out of the inning.

Arizona then responded with six runs of their own in the bottom half of the inning, utilizing the speed head coach Mike Candrea had talked about in the preseason to get on base.

"It was a good start. A lot of first games, different faces, a lot of nerves so it's good to get the first game under the belt," head coach Mike Candrea said.

Danielle O'Toole was able to control the pace and contain the Thunderbird offense, holding them to just two hits, both of which were home runs in the first two innings. She would settle down quickly, striking out six on her way to a five-inning complete game.

"I thought O'Toole did a great a job," Candrea continued. "Ran into a couple of pitches and that's the difference I think at this level, no matter who we're playing. You have to respect people in the middle of the lineup. They're there for a reason. But she's a good one and will continue to get strong and stronger and stronger."

Junior center fielder Eva Watson was constantly on the move, threatening to steal the base ahead. She ended up stealing a pair, which would set her up to get into scoring position throughout the entire night, scoring two of Arizona's ten runs.

Lauren Young also made her senior presence felt, going 2-2 with 2 RBI and some great fielding at shortstop.

The Wildcats will resume play on Friday, taking on Southern Utah once again at 4 PM and then North Texas at 6 PM.