Arizona Softball

No. 2 Alabama powers its way past No. 9 Arizona

Caitlin Lowe’s first game as Arizona’s coach against a ranked opponent was a forgettable one with No. 2 Alabama belting five home runs among its eight hits Saturday night at Hillenbrand Stadium.

It was so forgettable that Lowe said Arizona needs “short memory” to “get over this one.”

The Candrea Classic in honor of legendary coach Mike Candrea — who threw out the first pitch — included a near-capacity crowd at Hillenbrand that watched Alabama pummel the ninth-ranked Wildcats 11-0 in five innings.

Ashley Prange, Alabama’s No. 9 hitter, had two of the home runs. She also tripled and finished 3 for 3 with three runs and four RBIs.

Arizona conversely had only two hits and did not reach second base against Alabama’s Lexi Kilfoyl.

Kilfoyl, the Crimson Tide’s No. 2 pitcher behind All-American Montana Fouts, struck out three and walked one in the five-inning performance. She induced Arizona into 11 groundouts.

Alabama opened a 6-0 lead in the third inning when it sent eight batters to the plate and belted two home runs and two triples against Arizona starter Hanah Bowen.

Bowen looked impeccable in the first two innings with four strikeouts and one walk and allowing only one hit.

Kilfoyl showed see can hit with power leading off the third inning with a deep drive to the top couple of rows of the left field bleachers to open the scoring.

Prange and Jenna Johnson followed with back-to-back triples with Prange coming home to increase the lead to 2-0.

After a Dallis Goodnight groundout, Kaylee Tow reached on a fielder’s choice, scoring Johnson in the process.

Abby Doerr later had a three-run home run with two outs, forcing Bowen’s exit with Madi Elish entering in relief.

Megan Bloodworth greeted her with a single but was later ruled out leaving the base too early to end the rally.

Alabama increased the lead to 8-0 in the fourth on solo home runs by Prange and Goodnight off Elish.

The margin grew to 11-0 for the Crimson Tide on Prange’s 3-run homer off Jessie Fontes.

Elish is a true freshman and Fontes pitched only 1 2/3 innings last season.

Arizona plays the last game of the Candrea Classic on Sunday at 2 p.m. against New Mexico.

The Hillenbrand Invitational is next weekend with Arizona first scheduled to play two games Friday — against UC Santa Barbara at 3 p.m. and then Long Beach State at 5.

FOLLOW @JAVIERJMORALES ON TWITTER! publisher, writer and editor Javier Morales is a former Arizona Press Club award winner. He is a former Arizona Daily Star beat reporter for the Arizona basketball team, including when the Wildcats won the 1996-97 NCAA title. He has also written articles for, Bleacher Report, Lindy’s Sports,, The Arizona Republic, Sporting News and Baseball America, among many other publications. He has also authored the book “The Highest Form of Living”, which is available at Amazon. He became an educator five years ago and is presently a special education teacher at Gallego Fine Arts Intermediate in the Sunnyside Unified School District.

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