Arizona Softball: Cats sweep behind Del Ponte's walk-off HR

2013-02-10T00:00:00Z 2013-02-10T09:49:19Z Arizona Softball: Cats sweep behind Del Ponte's walk-off HRJack Magruder Special To The Arizona Daily Star Arizona Daily Star

TEMPE - Arizona's offensive woes in the first round of the Kajikawa Classic were nothing that a lineup adjustment and a little time couldn't cure.

The No. 13 Wildcats shook off their season-opening jitters with 14 hits in a 10-3 morning victory over Cal Poly and finished their Saturday sweep with 10 more hits, including a walk-off home run by Brigette Del Ponte, in a 3-2 victory over San Diego State at the Tempe Sports Complex.

"We had a lot more fun today," Del Ponte said. "We weren't nervous. That plays a key. I went out there (Friday) and I was shaking. It's my senior year and I was still shaking."

Del Ponte's second homer of the day that broke a tie at 2 made a winner of right-hander Shelby Babcock, who stranded the go-ahead run at second in the top of the seventh.

Del Ponte had a three-run home run in the third inning of the first game and added an RBI single in a four-run sixth inning of the first game to support Yavapai transfer Estela Piñon, who struck out nine and also got two hits in her first UA victory.

"We swung the bats a little bit better," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "I thought Stella threw a good game. Babcock did a good job competing."

Top run producer Del Ponte, who hit leadoff in both games Friday, dropped to No. 3 in the batting order Saturday behind Chelsea Suitos and Hallie Wilson, who each moved up a spot. Wilson had two hits, three runs and two stolen bases Saturday, and Suitos had three hits, an RBI, a run and a stolen base.

"Just trying to find a combination," Candrea said of his lineup tinkering.

"It doesn't really matter to me," said Del Ponte, who had a hit and an RBI or both in each of the four games here. "You only lead off once in a game.

"I've been hitting third for three years now, so I'm more comfortable with it."

The UA (3-1) will play No. 14 Florida (4-0) in its final game of the Kajikawa Classic at 8:30 a.m. today at Farrington Stadium on the ASU campus. Florida beat No. 3 Oregon 1-0 on Friday.

The victory over Cal Poly was more like the Wildcats, and an introduction for some. Arizona's 14 hits were double what it had while splitting Friday's games, a victory over Northwestern and an upset loss to Bradley. It also was one short of the Cats' high of 15 hits in 2012 when they finished 39-17.

Not only did Piñon get her first UA victory and first complete game, freshman second baseman Mandie Perez had her first home run and freshman Darcy Taylor also had her first hit, a two-run pinch-hit double in a four-run sixth inning.

Box score / B7

Up next

• What: Kajikawa Classic in Tempe

• Arizona's schedule: 8:30 a.m. today vs. Florida

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