Feb 9, 2012 11:51 PM
TEMPE - University of Arizona Wildcat Softball started its season on the right note with an 8-1 win over McNeese State Thursday to open the Kajikawa Classic.
Newcomers Jessica Spigner and Chelsea Goodacre homered in their first games in an Arizona uniform. Brigette Del Ponte added a homer of her own as she batted in four total runs to lead Arizona. The three all had two hits in the game.
Shelby Babcock got the nod for UA in the circle; the sophomore went the distance and danced out of trouble all night, allowing just one run on six hits.
An area of concern for the Cats entering the season, Arizona's defense was superb as Del Ponte, Hallie Wilson and Kristen Arriola all made diving plays with the leather.
In her first career Wildcat at-bat, Spigner homered to left field to give Arizona a 1-0 lead in the second.
The Cats added a run in the third when Brigette Del Ponte recorded a ground-rule double to score Karissa Buchanan.
McNeese State got on the board when Alanna DiVittorio homered to lead off the fourth. A subsequent single and double put two runners in scoring position with no one out but Babcock would get the next three outs to limit the damage.
UA put three runs on the board in its turn in the fourth. Goodacre hit a two-run homer to right and Chelsea Suitos recorded an RBI groundout to give Arizona a 5-1 lead after four.
Babcock got herself in another jam in the fifth. The Cowgirls loaded the bases with only one out but Babcock would get the next two out to protect Arizona's 5-1 lead.
UA's offense provided Babcock with some insurance in the sixth as Del Ponte hit a three-run bomb to give Arizona an 8-1 lead.
The game was Arizona's first of six in Tempe for the Kajikawa Classic. The team is back at it Friday with a double dip; Arizona plays Georgia Tech at 2:30 and Nebraska at 4:00 p.m. MST.
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