Arizona softball advances to regional finals after wins over Villanova and Arkansas – The Daily Wildcat

He The Arizona softball team defeated Villanova University and No. 16 University of Arkansas in its first two games of the NCAA softball tournament on Friday, May 17 and Saturday, May 18 at Bogle Park in Fayetteville, Arkansas, advancing directly to the regional final. game.

afterAfter missing the postseason last season for the first time in 35 years, Arizona went 34-16-1 in the 2024 regular season, earning the regional runner-up finish to Arkansas.

Day 1: Friday, May 17

Game 1: Arizona vs. Villanova at 3 p.m.

In game one, Arizona was the home team and sent in Miranda Stoddard to start the Wildcats’ first game.. The top of the first inning was fast, as Arizona he threw out Villanova’s first three batters.

The Wildcats then started strong in the bottom of the first, getting runners on base after key hits from the top of the lineup. After By scoring 4 runs in the first inning, Arizona forced an early pitching change from Villanova. However, it proved ineffective, as Dakota Kennedy, in her second at-bat that inning, hit a 2-run home run, increasing the Wildcats’ lead to 8-0.

The Wildcats again made quick work of Villanova’s hitters, allowing just one baserunner in the top of the second inning.

In his second at bat of the game, Carlie Scupin took the third pitch of her at-bat and hit a solo home run to center field, extending Arizona’s lead to 9.

In the top of the fourth inning, Villanova finally responded to the Wildcats after they loaded the bases and walked Arizona rookie pitcher Brook Mannon in his first run.which had arrived at the top of the entrance by Stoddard. Arizona then made the decision to bring in Aissa Sliva to close out the inning, but not before Villanova scored 2 more runs.

It seemed all but over when the Wildcats forced Villanova to turn to its third pitcher. Arizona scored 5 more runs in the bottom of the 4th inning, making the score 14-3 Wildcats.. With a quick start to the fifth inning, Arizona earned its first postseason victory in two years, forcing Villanova to apply the 8-run mercy rule.

Day 2: Saturday, May 18

Game 2: Arizona vs. No. 16 Arkansas at noon

In the second game against Arkansas, Arizona was the visiting team. For his second regional game, Arizona picked up where they left off the day before, scoring 2 runs in the top of the first inning and taking the lead.

With the bases loaded, Olivia DiNardo hit a sacrifice fly to score Regan Shockey from third base. After a wild pitch advanced runners to second and third base, Blade Biringer hit an infield single, scoring the second run for the Wildcat.s.

When the defense first came out, Arizona sent Aissa Silva, who has been the workhorse for the Wildcats’ pitching this year due to injuries. The second-year pitcher from Tucson came into the game with a career-high 20-5 and a 3.11 ERA.

Silva and the Wildcat defense shut out the Razorbacks in the first inning. Then, in the second inning, the two teams began a pitchers’ duel.

Although Arkansas would never retire its starting pitcher, Robyn Herron, sophomore from Tampa Bay, Floridaa, the The Wildcats would replace Siva with Brook Mannon midway through the third inning.

Manonwho saw only a couple of batters in the first game of the tournament before being pulled, closed out the second game for the Wildcats. He only allowed 1 run in the 7th inning after Arkansas Rylin Hedgecock hit a solo home run to center field.

Arizona held on to beat the Razorbacks 2-1 and advanced directly to the regional final game on Sunday, May 19 for a rematch against Villanova at 1 p.m..

Continue he Daily Wildcat in instagram and Twitter/X