Arizona softball got more than it bargained for on the first day of the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
The Wildcats won their first game without much sweat, topping Cal Baptist 6-2, but in game two Arizona was shutout by Cal State Fullerton 1-0. The Wildcats under first year coach Caitlin Lowe are 8-3 through 11 games, with three game to be played over the next two days.
Thursday started off well, with Arizona jumping out to a 4-0 second inning leading on CBU behind an RBI single from Jasmine Perezchica and a bases clearing three-run single from Sharlize Palacios.
The Wildcats added runs in the third and fifth innings off solo homers by Carlie Scupin and Allie Skaggs.
Devyn Netz recorded her fourth win of the season on the mound, allowing two runs (one earned) over seven innings, striking out four, walking none and giving up three hits and one hit batsman.
Arizona outhit CBU 9-3 and left seven runners on base.
Game two was a different story for the Wildcats offense.
Fullerton pitcher Myka Sutherlin shut out Arizona, giving up four hits and four walks and striking out 10.
The Wildcats and Titans found themselves in a scoreless game until the top of the sixth inning, when Fullerton Deshea Hill singled in Hannah Becerra, who doubled in the prior at bat.
That was the only blemish on the day for Arizona’s Madi Elish, who gave up six hits and struck out six in 5.1 innings. Netz relieved Elish in the sixth and recorded five outs without allowing a baserunner.
Arizona’s best scoring opportunity came in the bottom frame of the seventh inning. The Wildcats had runners on first and second with one out when Perezchica hit a line drive single into shallow center field. Hannah Martinez, the lead runner, was thrown out at the plate as the Fullerton catcher just barely applied the tag in time.
Palacios went down swinging to end the game.
Arizona returns to action Friday with a double-header against Bethune-Cookman and UC Davis. The first game begins at 11:30 a.m. MST.