A home run from Carlie Scupin — her third in the first four games of the season — sparked a six-run third inning in an 8-0 mercy-rule win over North Texas in the Candrea Classic at Hillenbrand Stadium Saturday night.
Aissa Silva (2-0) started for Arizona, recording a career-high eight strikeouts and allowing one hit with two walks in 4.1 innings.
Silva credited her curveball for much of her success in the circle.
“I was just in my zone using all my pitches, and knowing that I had my defense behind me. So, it was good,” she said.
Arizona (4-0) held a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the third when Scupin blasted a two-run home run over the right field wall to bring Dakota Kennedy home to extend Arizona’s lead to 3-0.
Scupin thinks the Arizona hitters are playing smart at the plate and on the base path so far this season.
“I think a big motto for us is just pass the bat to the next person and have a quality at-bat out there, and I think our base running is like a game-changer right now,” she said. “We’re taking extra bases. We’re not afraid out there. So I think we’re doing a great job of just putting a ton of runs on the board.”
North Texas pitcher Mackenzie Childers then walked Olivia DiNardo, Blaise Biringer singled and Paige Dimler also walked to load the bases with one out. A two-RBI single from Kaiah Altmeyer would put Arizona up 5-0.
After North Texas (1-2) brought in pitcher McKenzie Wagoner, Biehl reached on a fielder’s choice, advancing to second on a throwing error that scored Altmeyer and pinch runner Jasmine Perezchica to put Arizona up 7-0.
Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe is pleased that the team is adapting to pitchers early, leading to big innings on offense in the second and third innings.
“I think I’ve been most proud that their second at-bats are better than their first, And they’re learning from something. They’re having an idea of what they want to do when they go up to bat,” she said.
In the bottom of the fourth, DiNardo hit a solo home run over the wall in right-center to stretch Arizona’s lead to 8-0 before the game was called in the middle of the fifth.
Arizona got on the board first in the bottom of the second when a sacrifice fly to center field from Altmeyer scored Biringer.
Arizona next plays Northern Colorado (1-2) on Sunday at 1 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.