Arizona Softball

No. 21 Arizona falls to No. 7 Stanford, 9-0, in five innings

Miranda Stoddard gave up four runs off six hits on Thursday. (Arizona Athletics)

Arizona fell behind big in the third inning, and its offense struggled to get into a rhythm against NiJaree Canady in a 9-0 five-inning run-rule loss to Stanford on Thursday evening.

After two scoreless innings, Aly Kaneshiro doubled to center to give Stanford a 2-0 lead in the top of the third. An RBI single by Caelan Koch put Stanford up 3-0, prompting Ali Blanchard to relieve Arizona’s starter, Miranda Stoddard.

Stanford (26-5, 7-0 Pac 12) extended its lead to 5-0 in the top of the third on a fielder’s choice from Emily Jones and an RBI groundout from Kyra Chan.

The Cardinal added two runs in the the fourth off an RBI single from Jade Berry and a sacrifice fly by Emily Jones, and two runs in the fifth off a two-run home run from Taryn Kern to close out the game.

Arizona (21-10-1, 4-7 Pac-12) left seven runners on base.

Stoddard and Blanchard gave up a combined 12 hits.

“I thought Miranda started out great, and Blanch (Blanchard) threw us some outs that turned into infield hits, and we didn’t play good defense behind her, and she never should have faced that many hitters,” Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe said. “I thought we were a little bit on our heels defensively which is unlike us… We just let a couple hits turn into too many runs.” 

Canady (12-2) struck out seven, allowing three hits and three walks in five shutout innings.

Lowe was satisfied with how the offense settled in at the plate against her but was disappointed they didn’t get more opportunities due to the shortened game because of the mercy rule.

“I thought quite a few of our hitters got better as they went, which is what I wanted to see, and they wanted way more at-bats than that,” she said. “That’s the only thing I’m really upset about right now is that we couldn’t extend it two more innings, and get more at-bats.”

Lowe says she told the team they needed to execute better, especially on the defensive end, make quicker adjustments on offense, and have a clean slate heading into the second game of the series.

“I think short memory with this kind of loss because we have an opportunity tomorrow against a very good team, so just really coming out tomorrow and being ourselves.”

Arizona plays Stanford on Friday at 6 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

FOLLOW @KEVINMURFEE ON TWITTER! 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.

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