Arizona first baseman Carlie Scupin was named the Pac-12 Player of the Week on Monday after crushing the ball in a four-game series sweep vs. Utah.
Scupin had six hits and three walks in 11 plate appearances, including two homers, a double and six RBI. She had at least one hit and one RBI in all four wins, including the game-tying RBI single in the series finale, a 3-2 victory.
The Tucson High grad is just the second freshman in Arizona softball history to be a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week honoree, the other being Jessie Harper in 2017.
Scupin had been hitless in four straight games leading up the Utah series, but got on track thanks in part to some adjustments she made to her swing.
“One of the things that we were seeing with her was she was, right at the last minute, kind of getting long with her hands and that’s why she was kind of flipping things,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “And if you watch sometimes, she’ll start rolling over pitches and not really getting through them. So this week we kind of worked on trying to get her knob to stay down and stay toward the plate so that she could get directly to the ball and kind of preload her a little bit. I just think her timing was a little bit off.
“She’s a strong kid and I think there’s still a couple of little tweaks that can be made. I don’t know if they can be made right now, but I’d like to just be able to see her be more efficient from point A to point B, because she’s so strong, but to be able to stay through the ball. Because if you watch her hold the bat, you would be going, ‘it looks like a pencil in her hand.’ She likes to hold everything in her fingers and unfortunately that can be a weak position to get into, so we’re tweaking with a few things.”
Scupin is hitting .333 on the season with eight homers and 30 RBI. She has started in 37 of 39 games and looks like a cornerstone for the Wildcats for years to come.
“The one thing with Carlie I’ve been impressed with this year is truthfully I think she’s seen the ball well as a freshman,” Candrea said. “She doesn’t look over anxious. She doesn’t look like she’s not seeing speeds. I mean, she usually has pretty good at-bats. It’s just a matter of when she gets her pitch, can she put a good swing on it. And I think this weekend she did a better job of that.”
Arizona (31-8, 9-5) is scheduled to host a four-game series vs. Cal (16-12, 3-6) this weekend.