March 30, 2012
No. 19 Arizona Softball (21-9, 0-4 Pac-12) fell into a 2-0 hole in the top of the first and could never recover, dropping game one of the three-game series, 4-1 to 13th-ranked Stanford (27-6, 1-3 Pac-12).
The Cats managed just two hits off Stanford ace Teagan Gerhart (22-3), who struck out one-third of the Wildcats she faced (9-of-27). The one run is the fewest Arizona has scored since being shut out by then-No. 13 Georgia on February 23 in a 3-0 loss. Arizona's two hits matched its season low, recorded in the Georgia shutout, as well.
Stanford used two bases-loaded, two-out, two-RBI singles to plate the four runs in the game. Corey Hanewich came through in the first and Maya Burns in the third.
Shelby Babcock took the loss for the Cats. The sophomore (11-6) allowed four runs, two earned, on eight hits while walking two and striking out four in six innings pitched. Jessica Spigner pitched a clean seventh inning; it was Spigner's first duty in the circle since February 19 against Southern Utah.
Brigette Del Ponte drove in Arizona's only run on the team's first triple of the season. She drove a ball off the centerfield wall to score Hallie Wilson in the third inning, but was stranded at third base. Chelsea Suitos had Arizona's only other hit of the game. UA stranded five runners on the game.
The loss dropped Arizona to 0-4 in conference play for the first time since the Pac-West became the Pac-10 in 1988.
Two unearned runs in the first inning for Stanford put the Cats in an early hole. A two-out error by Del Ponte loaded the bases and extended the inning for the Cardinal. Hanewich took advantage of the new life by singling home a pair.
Stanford loaded the bases again in the third on a couple of infield singles and a Babcock walk. Burns singled to shallow left field with two out to score two.
In the bottom half, Wilson drew a one out walk and was sacrificed to second. Del Ponte drove her home with a two-out triple to center. Spigner walked to bring the tying run to the plate, but Shelby Pendley struck out to end the threat.
UA would get one base-runner the rest of the way, a two-out walk to Lini Koria in the bottom of the seventh. It appeared as though the Cats would get the tying run to the plate in the seventh when Alex Lavine was hit by a pitch, but she was ruled to have stepped into the ball. Lavine flew out to center field to end the game.
Arizona and Stanford meet again Saturday (7:00 p.m.) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.). Fans are encouraged to wear red to Saturday's game for the Red-Out.