It wasn’t an easy night for Tucson softball fans. The Arizona men’s basketball exhibition game had most of the parking around Hillenbrand Stadium reserved, but it didn’t stop 763 people from finding a way to make it to the softball game to watch the Wildcats take on Pima Community College in their fourth fall scrimmage. The local nature of the matchup made for an enthusiastic crowd, many of whom gathered around the stadium TVs after the game to watch the Arizona Diamondbacks defeat the Philadelphia Phillies in game four of the NLCS.
On the field, the Wildcats continued to shake off the rust and prepare for what they hope is a return to the postseason in the spring. How much they are able to learn from a 17-1 win is open to question, but some players did appear to shake off some of that rust compared to last week.
Second baseman Allie Skaggs didn’t have a great night last Friday in the Wildcats’ doubleheader against Phoenix College and Eastern Arizona College. She went 0 for 5 with two strikeouts over the two games. The week before, she was 1 for 3 against Central Arizona. This week was much different.
Skaggs went 2 for 3 and added a walk against the Aztecs. She had a double and a home run, producing four RBI. She didn’t strike out.
The home run was one of four for the Wildcats. Skaggs and freshman catcher Emily Schepp went back-to-back in the bottom of the fourth.
The biggest bat was wielded by first baseman Carlie Scupin. After missing much of last season with a broken arm, Scupin is back with a vengeance this fall.
Scupin went 3 for 3 and launched two balls out of the park against PCC. The two home runs give her four this fall. She has sent at least one over the fence in three of the team’s four games and has 14 RBI.
The Wildcats once again used almost their entire bullpen. Like last week, five of the seven pitchers on the staff took the circle with only Devyn Netz and Sydney Somerndike not pitching.
Miranda Stoddard got the start, but she did not secure the win because she pitched just two innings. Stoddard gave up one hit and one earned run. It was the first run scored on Arizona this fall.
Stoddard also walked one and hit a batter. She faced nine, throwing 37 pitches. Nineteen of her pitches went for strikes.
She was relieved by Ali Blanchard, who pitched 1.2 innings. Blanchard gave up one hit, but she did a solid job keeping the ball in the strike zone. Only six of her 19 pitches were balls.
Aissa Silva came in to get the final out of the fourth inning. She struck out her only batter on four pitches.
Freshman Ryan Maddox relieved Silva to start the fifth. Maddox pitched two innings and got the win. She surrendered one hit but struck out two.
Fellow freshman Brooke Mannon wrapped things up in the seventh. Once again, the tall righty from the Midwest showed her tendency to stay in the zone. Seven of her nine pitches were strikes. She struck out one of the three batters she faced. Over the course of the fall, she has struck out seven of the 20 batters who have stepped into the box against her.
The Wildcats take the field again Friday, Oct. 27 against South Mountain for their fifth fall game. First pitch is at 6 p.m. MST at Hillenbrand Stadium. Fortunately, it will not be scheduled at the same time as men’s basketball.