Arizona Softball

Arizona falls to Utah in first game of Pac-12 home opening series

Caitlin Lowe meets with her team post game (Arizona Athletics photo)

Ahead of their Pac-12 home opener against Utah (20-4, 4-0 in Pac-12), No. 17 Arizona (19-8, 2-2) played a mid-week doubleheader against New Mexico State (11-9).

The Wildcats, with their hot bats, hard charging defense and spot on pitching, run-ruled the Aggies in both games.

Devyn Netz ended game one with a three-run walk off home run giving the Cats a 10-0 win in five innings.

Three Wildcats hit home runs in the game — Netz, Allie Skaggs and Paige Dimler.

Arizona true freshman pitcher Sydney Somerndike threw a career-high six strikeouts.

Arizona freshman pitcher Sydney Somerndike (Arizona Athletics photo)

Izzy Pacho’s three-run home run in the fifth inning ended game two as Arizona secured the sweep 9-1.

During game two, Carlie Scupin was hit by pitch with bases loaded bringing in a run for Arizona.

The hit to Scupin’s arm resulted in a break, forcing her to miss four to six weeks. She will have surgery to place a plate in her arm on Tuesday.

In the opening game of the Utah series, Utes senior first baseman Ellessa Bonstrom, who is from Tucson and is a Canyon Del Oro product, had herself a night. In three at-bats, Bonstrom brought in three runs with one home run.

Utah’s starting pitcher Mariah Lopez threw a complete game and limited the Wildcats to four hits, on 118 pitches and 72 for strikes.

Arizona’s three runs were all a result of solo home runs by Skaggs, Netz and Dakota Kennedy.

Netz’s home run was her eighth of the season.

With Scupin sidelined, the Wildcats moved freshman Tayler Biehl to first.

Netz started the game in the circle for Arizona, and she had a hard time finding her groove against the Utes.

Netz threw 68 pitches in 3 1/3 innings, throwing 47 pitches resulting in strikes. She hit two batters, had a wild pitch and allowed five runs (three earned).

Netz’s night didn’t end when Brianna Hardy replaced her in the circle.

The Wildcats couldn’t lose Netz’s hitting, so coach Caitlin Lowe moved her to first base and Biehl replaced Sophia Carroll at shortstop.

After the game, Netz talked about being a pitcher and hitter.

“I just keep it simple, see ball hit ball just try to square something up,” she said. “I’ve always been a pitcher and a hitter. I’ve always been someone who’s loved to play all aspects of the game and that’s what my dad and I have trained my whole life so the fact that I get to do it here, especially this year is really special.”

Utah was dominant in all aspects of the game scoring at least one run in all but one inning in their 8-2 win over Arizona.

Lowe talked about her message to the team headed into Friday’s matchup with the Utes and postgame.

“Everyone in the Pac-12 is going to be a tough game,” Lowe said. “With ASU, I truly felt we played our version of softball. We didn’t come out ready with that same mind set today. You can’t let someone get off to a head start and play catch up. We just have to come out with a better mentality from the get-go and then when we do score, be able to slam the door on the opposite side”.

Arizona and Utah are back at it Saturday at 2 p.m. in Rita Hillenbrand Stadium.

Game Extra:

Arizona basketball’s Henri Veesaar was in the crowd supporting Wildcats softball.

Arizona basketball freshman Henri Veesaar in attendance (Lori Burkhart/AllSportsTucson)
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