TUCSON--The Arizona softball team, fresh off a 4-1 weekend in Palm Springs, will meet the Canadian National team in an exhibition doubleheader beginning at 4 p.m. Wednesday, Feb. 27.
The international competition will be followed by UA'sown?Hillenbrand Invitational this weekend, with 15 games -- five for UA -- on tap Friday through Sunday at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium.
UA, 6-4 overall, will play host to five teams in the tourney and play a game each against South Florida, Iowa State??Illinois-Chicago, Virginia Tech and New Mexico State. Each of those clubs will also meet each other during the 15-game tournament.
The Canadian Senior Women's National Team, in training for the 2008 Beijing Olympics, has played to a 7-0 record in recent weeks, including victories over Washington, Texas Tech, UTEP and Wisconsin in a pair of tournaments in Las Vegas from feb. 10-17.
After the exhibition twin bill, the Cats will play 13 consecutive home contests at Hillenbrand before a March 18 doubleheader at UTEP, and then a spring break trip to Fullerton, Calif., for the Judi Garman Classic.?
RECAPPING THE PALM SPRINGS CLASSIC:
After losing a 2-1 ballgame to San Diego State in which UA stranded nine runners and wasted a 13-strikeout effort from Taryne Mowatt, the Wildcats bounced back with four consecutive victories. ?Immediately following the defeat to the Aztecs, UA jumped right on No. 10 Baylor as three of the first four Wildcat hitters hit home runs to begin a 12-0, five-inning romp.? Arizona would hit four home runs in all, with the long balls coming off the bats of Brittany Lastrapes, Sam Banister, Jenae Leles and Laine Roth. ?The next morning, UA couldnˇ?t buy a run, as it took the Wildcats and Massachusetts 13 innings to break a scoreless tie.? In the 13th, Arizona exploded for four runs thanks to a run-scoring error and a three-run, pinch-hit double from Victoria Kemp.? Although Mowatt allowed a pair of runs in the 13th, she threw 12 shutout innings and struck out 16 Minutewomen in a four-hit effort. ?The Wildcats did not have as much trouble with Long Island, whom UA dispatched with a workman-like 4-0 victory.? Freshman pitcher Lindsey Sisk tossed her second shutout in as many days, scattering four hits and allowing no walks for the second straight day. On Sunday, Arizona punctuated its weekend with a 7-4 victory over No. 6 LSU.? Brittany Lastrapes got things started with a home run to lead off the top of the first ?C the first of four Wildcat home runs in the weekend finale.? Sophomore designated player Stacie Chambers stole the show with two home runs and five RBI to break the game open against a quality non-conference opponent.
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Hillenbrand Invitational Schedule:
Friday, Feb. 29
9 a.m.? Illinois-Chicago? vs. Virginia Tech
11 a.m. Illinois-Chicago vs. New Mexico? State
1 p.m. Virginia Tech vs. New Mexico State
4 p.m. Arizona vs. South Florida
6 p.m. Arizona vs. Iowa State
8 p.m. South Florida vs. Iowa State
Saturday, March 1
9 a.m. South Florida vs. Illinois-Chicago
11 a.m. South Florida vs. New Mexico State
1 p.m. Virginia Tech vs. Iowa State
4 p.m. Arizona vs. Illinois-Chicago
6 p.m. Arizona vs. Virginia Tech
8 p.m. New Mexico State vs. Iowa State
Sunday, March 2
9 a.m. South Florida, Virginia Tech
11 a.m. Iowa State vs. Illinois-Chicago
1 p.m. New Mexico State vs. Arizona