Arizona Softball

Emotional Allie Skaggs about end of career at Arizona: “I love this program so much”

Allie Skaggs concluded her illustrious career at Arizona with 57 home runs and 181 RBIs (Arizona athletics photo)

During Arizona’s press conference Saturday night following its elimination from the Stillwater (Okla.) Super Regional, the Wildcats’ popular second baseman Allie Skaggs became emotional commenting about her four years with the program.

Skaggs and the Wildcats lost 10-4 in the second game of the best-of-three series to host Oklahoma State after falling 8-0 in five innings in the opening game Friday.

Skaggs finished her career with a .328 batting average and .689 slugging percentage, tallying 20 doubles, 57 home runs and 181 RBIs.

“Honestly, in general, just playing at the U of A has been absolutely amazing,” Skaggs said. “I love this program so much, and to play in Tucson and to play in front of … sorry, I’m going to get emotional … to play in front of the little girls, and my family lives there so … it’s been amazing to play in front of that environment for four years.”

Skaggs, a Class of 2020 Ironwood Ridge graduate, is one of three active four-year seniors on the roster, including Tucson HIgh alum Carlie Scupin and Jasmine Perezchica. Cienega grad Blaise Biringer spent the last three years with the Wildcats after playing her freshman season at Ole Miss.

Devyn Netz (also an Ironwood Ridge graduate) entered the program at the same time as Skaggs, Scupin and Perezchica, but redshirted this season with an injury and will return next season.

Miranda Stoddard is a graduate student from Kentucky who exhausted her eligibility this season. Allie Blanchard is another graduate student from Princeton whose career is also complete after playing two years with Arizona.

Some have inquired if the senior class has another year of eligibility because of COVID-19 restrictions affecting their freshman season in 2021 with some game cancellations. The answer is no because although eight games were canceled that season, the Wildcats played more than 30 percent of their schedule with a record of 41-15 and they played in the postseason that year all the way to the Women’s College World Series.

Arizona coach Caitlin Lowe was hired to replace the legendary Mike Candrea after this year’s four-year seniors completed that 2021 season as freshmen. Lowe sat next to Skaggs and Biringer in the postgame press conference Saturday.

“I just have to say I couldn’t be more proud of our team and what we’ve been able to do this season,” said Lowe, whose team finished 37-18-1 and returned to the NCAA tournament after last year’s absence ended a 35-year run in the postseason.

“Very proud of our seniors, two of them to the left of me and really sad to see them moving on. But they have left such a lasting impression, not just on this program, but on the current team moving forward, on our fan base in Tucson, on our support staff, a little bit of everything.

“I was telling Allie after the game that there’s going to be thousands and thousands of little Allie Skaggs fans who are going to grow up and play college softball because they (the seniors) pour into this game every single day that they’re out there.”

Lowe looked at Skaggs and Biringer, and mentioned with her voice trailing, “Just couldn’t be more proud of the group that we have and excited for what the future brings, but also just know these guys are going to kick butt in whatever they do moving forward.”

Biringer, a Nogales native, mentioned she is thankful she had the opportunity to play a full softball career in college.

“I think when I was younger, I just remember looking up to the girls who are in my situation now and now that I’m in the same shoes that they were in, it is just a blessing,” Biringer said. “And I’m so grateful of my family, my friends and my coaches have led me to this position.”

With Oklahoma State leading 10-3 with runners on first and second base, the game entered into a lightning delay that lasted 2 hours and 18 minutes.
Following the delay, Arizona went toe-to-toe with Oklahoma State and ace pitcher Lexi Kilfoyl, who was forced to come out of the bullpen before the delay occurred.

Stoddard retired Oklahoma State’s runner at second base to end the top of the fifth.

In the bottom of the inning, sophomore catcher Olivia DiNardo hit her fifth double of the season to drive in a run and make it a 10-4 game.
Stoddard shut out Oklahoma State in the sixth and seventh innings, retiring the Cowgirls in order in the seventh to finish with a strong scoreless three innings, allowing three hits with no walks while striking out three.

“We had a whole lot of life,” Lowe said about how Arizona played after the delay. “I think my only regret was that we didn’t play 14 innings that way because I thought that was our best softball that we played at the very end of this series.

“These girls wanted to be back out on the field and I’m so proud of the way they finished the game that way. I think it shows grit and character. They beat us in the last three innings and it didn’t feel like they were beating our true selves the rest of the weekend.”

Freshman Brooke Mannon also pitched as well as she could before Stoddard entered the circle, going 3 2/3 innings in relief of starter Aissa Silva.

The Wildcats recorded 11 hits, led by Scupin’s 3-for-4 performance.
Oklahoma State struck first with three runs on a two-run home run and a wild pitch to open the game.
Arizona responded with one run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI single from freshman Regan Shockey.

The Cowgirls scored two in the third on a pair of solo home runs to take a 5-1 lead. In the fourth, Oklahoma Sate added two more a two-run single for a 7-1 lead.

In the bottom of the fourth, freshman catcher Emily Schepp hit a two-run home run – her seventh of the season – off Oklahoma State starter Ivy Rosenberry.
Oklahoma State extended their lead to 10-3 in the top of the fifth following an RBI double. The lightning delay happened shortly thereafter.

“I think one thing I’ve been fortunate enough to do — and Blaise is here with — in our senior class, and honestly just with Arizona softball in general, this is something that we expect to do every year,” Skaggs said. “That’s one thing that I feel like we’ve been very lucky is that years like last year when we don’t get a shot to make a run in the postseason, that’s an anomaly. That does tend to happen with our program.

“Every year we expect to be in these situations so honestly it’s fun to have those expectations and to go out and actually do it.”

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 in 2016 and is presently a special education teacher at Sunnyside High School in the Sunnyside Unified School District.


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