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Wildcats’ bats bail out poor fielding effort in Pac-10 opener

Citizen Staff Writer



If Friday night was a sneak preview of Arizona’s Pac-10 softball season, as coach Mike Candrea suggested, it’s going to be a wild ride.

“Gone are the times when you can get 10-to-12 strikeouts from a pitcher and have low-scoring games,” Candrea said after two UA hurlers survived 12 hits from Oregon State in a 12-9 league-opening home win.

Arizona (29-7) found itself in the strange position of having to outbomb its foe, a situation Candrea intends to change.

The Arizona defense had to overcome a rash of misplays in addition to letting the Beavers knock the ball around.

The Cats’ bailed themselves out with their bats, as catcher Stacie Chambers continued her campaign for national player of the year honors with her national-best 21st and 22nd home runs, while upping her national-best RBI count to 71.

Her first home run cleared the high center field wall background.

The Wildcats’ 15-hit attack also included homers from Sam Banister and K’Lee Arredondo, who was back after missing 11 games with an injury.

Chambers has burst onto the scene in her junior season.

What happened?

“I honestly don’t know,” she said. “I know I’ve worked very hard and I’m getting better. I’m seeing the ball much better and I’m more comfortable with everything.”

The official scorekeeper was somewhat generous on behalf of the Wildcat fielders, as they were charged with just one error.

“I don’t know if you’d call it mental errors,” Candrea said.

“We have to learn that the ball is put into play hard and when it is, a lot of things happen.”

Jennifer Martinez (6-1) picked up the win for UA in relief of Sarah Akamine.

Both pitchers allowed three earned runs.

UA hosts Oregon at 7 p.m. Saturday and 11 a.m. Sunday.

Bats rescue Cats from poor fielding effort

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