Hallie Wilson has been getting to practice an hour early lately, just to work on her swing.

"Focusing on getting a good pitch," she said, "and swinging at pitches where I can hit the ball hard."

It's paying off. Entering a three-game series that starts tonight in Utah, the sophomore first baseman is on a tear.

She went 7 for 10 in the Wildcats' three-game series Saturday-Monday at Hillenbrand Stadium. The UA lost two of the three games to Washington, falling to 21-10, 1-2 in the conference.

Since starting the year 4 for 18, she's hit .460, going 34 for 74.

"In any sport, as long as you're confident in the way you're playing, it's only going to help," she said.

It hasn't rubbed off on the team. The Wildcats have lost four of their last five, including Monday's 8-3 loss to the Huskies..

"We're using that loss as more motivation to understand that we're not where we need to be in the Pac-12," she said. "We need to beat the teams that are ranked and really good. We now know we need to work so much harder to get to where we want to be."

The Wildcats - who have averaged less than one run per game in their 10 losses -need help from new and old players alike, Wilson said.

"Our freshmen aren't considered freshmen anymore," she said. "We can't consider them to be young any more. We need them to grow up, just as we need our older girls."

Utah (13-14-1, 0-3) might have a trap waiting in the Wildcats' first true road game. The Utes opened the new Utah Softball Stadium on Tuesday, and it expects a good crowd for its first Pac-12 series.

The series

• What: Arizona at Utah, three games

• When: 5 p.m. today; 5 p.m. Friday; noon Saturday