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Allie Skaggs powers Arizona softball to 2nd Pac-12 series win of the season

The Wildcats win the series over Utah 2-1

arizona-wildcats-softball-2023-clearwater-invitational-schedule-announce-opponents-dates-times Photo by Mike Christy / Arizona Athletics

Did Arizona softball improve or did the schedule get easier? The answer is probably a bit of both. The Wildcats exhibited their improvement against a team that they “should” beat as they defeated Utah 6-5 to take the series 2-1.

Allie Skaggs powered Arizona. The sophomore hit home runs in back-to-back at-bats in the fourth and seventh innings. Her first was a two-out grand slam that gave the Wildcats a 5-1 lead.

The second was a solo shot that gave her team some breathing room after Utah closed their lead to 5-3. It turned out to be the winning run.

Skaggs entered the week with 11 home runs and ends it with 16, tying Carlie Scupin for the team lead. Skaggs had three against UTEP on Tuesday to tie a single-game record at Arizona. She also raised her batting average from .368 to .375.

Devyn Netz and Madi Elish combined to give up eight hits and five earned runs. The two had very similar stats. Netz started the game. She pitched into the fourth inning but was unable to record any outs. After giving up a double and a walk, she was relieved by Elish in the bottom of the fourth.

Elish pitched 3.2 innings but was unable to record the final out of the game. The freshman right-hander got two groundouts to bookend a single in the bottom of the seventh inning. Those were followed by a two-out RBI double and RBI single to cut Arizona’s lead to 6-5.

Netz re-entered the game, essentially to save her own game. She gave up a single to the first batter she faced but got to hit one back to her for the final out.

Netz was charged with three hits and three earned runs on the way to her 13th win of the season. She walked one and struck out two. Elish gave up two earned runs on five hits, but she neither walked nor struck out anyone.

In addition to Skaggs, redshirt junior Izzy Pacho had a big day at the plate. Arizona’s third base went 3-for-4 with two doubles.

The Wildcats have next week off from Pac-12 competition. That doesn’t mean they are not playing, though. Arizona will return home, then travel to Las Cruces, N.M. to play a doubleheader at New Mexico State on Wednesday. On Saturday, UA hosts Fresno State in the second doubleheader of the week.

Arizona plays its next Pac-12 series at California beginning on May 6.