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Arizona softball steals two games to go 3-0 in the Candrea Classic

Arizona pitcher Devyn Netz (34) against Long Beach State on Feb. 10, 2023 at the Candrea Classic.
Photo courtesy of Arizona Athletics

Like stolen bases? It looks like this year’s version of Arizona softball does.

The Wildcats stole a total of four bases in wins over Kansas and Long Beach State as they improved to 3-0 on the season and in the Candrea Classic.

Arizona stole just 23 bases all last year, with almost half of those coming from outfielder Jasmine Perezchica who had 10 during the 2022 season. Perezchica has two in her first three games with both of those against the Jayhawks and the Beach on Friday evening.

Freshman shortstop Tayler Biehl showed the speed she demonstrated back in fall ball with two steals in the opening game against the Jayhawks. She and Perezchica put together a three-steal outing against KU.

After winning big with three home runs on Thursday, the Wildcats showed that small ball can be just as effective in their 15-2 win in five innings over KU to start the day. Arizona did not hit a home run in the game and a double by Allie Skaggs was the only extra-base hit for the Wildcats.

Skaggs went 3 for 3 against KU and had four RBI. It was part of a 4-for-5 doubleheader with a walk and six total RBI.

Against LBSU, the Wildcats again got through the game without a home run, getting a double from Paige Dimler for their only multi-base hit. It was enough to win the game 9-1 in five innings.

For the second straight day, Devyn Netz was in the lineup. She started the day as the designated player as Ali Blanchard got the start in the circle against Kansas.

Netz went 2 for 3 at the plate and had three RBI. The only drawback was the risk that comes with a pitcher hitting as Netz was hit by a pitch in the second inning.

In the late game, Netz hit for the second night despite being the starting pitcher. She had a sacrifice fly giving her four RBI on the day. She also walked.

Netz wasn’t the only one who found herself wearing pitches. Starting catcher Izzy Pacho was hit three times in two games. She was hit in her first two plate appearances against Kansas and once in the late game against LBSU.

Pacho had a grand slam against the Beach on Thursday night when she went 3 for 3. She didn’t get a hit against either team on Friday, but she was on base three times against KU. Against LBSU she was on base once and scored a run.

Kaiah Altmeyer started in left field in the nightcap. She was one of three Wildcats to go 2 for 3 at the plate against LBSU, joining Perezchica and Blaise Biringer.

In addition to Netz and Blanchard, freshmen Sydney Somerndike and Aissa Silva got time in the circle. Somerndike pitched two innings against Kansas and Silva had one against Long Beach State. Neither gave up a run.

Arizona will play North Carolina State on Saturday at 3 p.m. MST. The Wildcats and Wolfpack meet again on Sunday at 12 p.m. MST.