Coming from a series loss against No. 2 Oregon, Stanford softball (16-29, 1-14 Pac-12) travels to Tucson to take on No. 19 Arizona (34-12, 9-6 Pac-12) in a three-game series.
“Tucson is an interesting place to play. In the stands, they get really fired up. Their fans are really into the game, so playing in that environment is fun. It’s a little bit challenging to stay in the game, but it can be really great if we can overcome them,” said senior Tylyn Well.
Because the Wildcats have been a winning team, the Cardinal must play their A-game to secure wins this weekend. Arizona’s home field advantage has played a prominent role in its victories, as it is 20-3 at Hillenbrand Stadium. Stanford will need a Trojan horse to infiltrate the Wildcats.
This season, due to injuries in the pitching staff, Stanford must offset a weaker defense on the mound with stronger field play and batting lineup. Arizona will take advantage of the Cardinal’s blind spots by playing senior Chelsea Goodacre, who is second in the NCAA in RBIs, and sophomore Katiyana Mauga, who hit 20 homers last season. In addition, redshirt senior Kellie Fox will be a force to be reckoned with. As a finalist for USA Softball Player of the Year, Fox currently bats .404. However, her strength is not limited to her offensive abilities, as Fox has started all 46 games at shortstop.
Unfortunately, the Cardinal will be down three seniors for the Arizona series. Consequently, the underclassmen will have to step up their game if Stanford has a chance of winning.
“We are going to focus on playing the game — keeping it normal, keeping it chill, hitting, playing catch. We have been doing all those things. We did very well against Oregon. We hit really well, and we play really good defense, so we just need to keep that up to defeat Arizona,” Wells said.
The series, which will be streamed live, will begin this Friday at 6 p.m at Arizona.
Contact Elizabeth Trinh at entrinh ‘at’ stanford.edu.