Coming into the season not ranked and picked to finish sixth in the Pac-12, Arizona softball has something to prove this season. The Wildcats got it started on the right track with a 9-1 run-rule victory against Utah Tech at home in the Candrea Classic.
Arizona called upon senior starting pitcher Miranda Stoddard to take the mound. Stoddard was making her first appearance in college softball since the 2022 season when she played for Kentucky. She spent last year working in the corporate world before returning to college.
Stoddard allowed a solo shot to center-field in the first inning to give the Trailblazers a 1-0 lead but that would be the only run given up by UA. Stoddard struck out one batter and gave up four hits in 4.2 innings pitched.
Sophomore Aissa Silva came in to get the final out of the top of the fifth. She struck lefty leadoff hitter Baylee Howley on three pitches in what would be Utah Tech’s final at-bat.
Arizona’s first run of the season came in the bottom of the first inning when Carlie Scupin tied it up with her first solo shot of the season to bring it to 1-1.
Who else but Scup for our first homer of the season pic.twitter.com/3u8Wcg8oxK— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) February 8, 2024
UA’s offense started slowly, having only the Scupin hit going into the bottom of the fourth. That is where Arizona got its bats going.
The Wildcats used four singles and two walks to bring in four runners in the inning. It brought its lead to 5-1.
In the fifth inning, the bats kept swinging for Arizona, adding another five runs.
The game ended on an error made by Utah Tech after Emily Schepp got her first career hit. A Utah Tech throwing error allowed all of the bases to clear for UA in a Little League home run, ending it in the fifth inning by the eight-run rule.
WALKOFF LITTLE LEAGUE HOME RUN‼️— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) February 9, 2024
Emily walks it off with her first career hit!
Final | Arizona 9, Utah Tech 1 (5) pic.twitter.com/AJGekRrMTG
Arizona’s offense had seven hits on the night, all by different batters. UA’s eight RBIs came from six different UA players.
UA was supposed to play a second game against Northern Colorado, but it was postponed due to rain.
Our game against Northern Colorado has been postponed due to weather.— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) February 9, 2024
See https://t.co/zAUDT7mx3M for schedule updates when they are available.
The Candrea Classic is scheduled to continue on Friday, weather permitting. The Wildcats return to the field at 4 p.m. MST against Lipscomb.