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Stanford gets its first Pac-12 run-rule victory of the year with 5-inning win over Arizona softball

stanford-gets-its-first-pac-12-run-rule-victory-of-the-year-with-5-inning-win-over-arizona-softball Photo courtesy NCAA

For the second straight night, Arizona pitching gave up double-digit hits to Stanford. The Cardinal made it count this time with a 10-0 win in five innings over the Wildcats one day after losing 10-6 despite getting 13 hits.

The game marked the first time the Cardinal has beaten the Wildcats in Tucson since March 30, 2012, and their first run-rule victory in conference play this season. It also marked the first time Stanford had scored double-digit runs against Arizona since 2014 when the Cardinal did it in an 18-12 Wildcat victory.

All five of Arizona’s hits came from the top five in the batting order. Two of them were by Carlie Scupin who has been scuffling a bit in conference play. She raised her batting average in conference play to .185 with a 2-2 evening.

“I’m trying to work my way back, kind of since the middle of the Pac,” Scupin said. “I’m feeling more confident than I have in a while. I’m really trying to focus on line drives and trusting myself.”

She got one of those line drives to lead off the second inning.

“Huge for her,” said Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe. “And she’s been working on her swing so hard. And got some pitches to hit and was really frustrated, just missing some yesterday, so I was so happy to see the line drive to left field. I think that’s what she’s been hoping for this whole time.”

The Wildcats didn’t just struggle on offense, though. Their pitching and defense also let them down. Arizona had three errors on the day.

“We just can’t afford to do that against good teams,” Lowe said. “When Devyn (Netz) is fighting like that, we have to be able to make those plays early on.”

Netz gave up 10 hits and seven earned runs in 4.1 innings. She walked one and struck out one.

Jessie Fontes relieved Netz with the Cardinal on verge of surpassing the run rule limit, leading Arizona 7-0. She allowed three runs, two of them earned, in 0.2 innings. She also walked one and struck out one.

One player who didn’t struggle on defense was Izzy Pacho. For the second straight game, she made some athletic plays to help her pitchers, including snagging a ball destined for left field to get the second out in the top of the fifth inning.

“She just works,” Lowe said. “And it’s not necessarily on game day...She just comes to practice every day to get better and tons of reps. And it doesn’t surprise me that she makes those plays, and I’m just happy that she’s getting the recognition that she deserves.”

The Wildcats will celebrate senior day on Saturday beginning at 12 p.m. MST/PDT. A win would likely solidify their place in the postseason, but a loss could be costly.