Del Ponte's First-Inning Slam Sparks Cats
March 20, 2010
FULLERTON, Calif. -- Brigette Del Ponte hit her fourth grand slam of the season in the first inning and Arizona never looked back in a 9-3 win over New Mexico on Saturday night.
Del Ponte's one-out bomb to left followed a base hit, error and a walk and opened up a 4-0 lead before New Mexico had a turn at the plate.
Stacie Chambers homered in the third after Lauren Schutzler doubled to widen the margin to 6-0. Schutzler hit her second double the next inning to cap a three-hit day. The two-run two-bagger answered UNM's third-inning deuce, making the score 8-2.
Jordyn Bledsoe hit a solo shot in the Lobo fourth to left plate UNM's final run.
Kristen Arriola led off the UA sixth with a single and scored after two walks and a Brittany Lastrapes base hit, but relief pitcher Kaela DeBroeck struck out three consecutive batters to keep the margin at 9-3.
Sarah Akamine (9-1) threw a five-hitter, matching a career-high in strikeouts with 10.
New Mexico starter Kari Gutierrez (2-3) gave up six runs on four hits and was lifted after three innings of work. Samantha Gatson tossed two frames, giving up three runs and scattering three hits. DeBroeck walked two and allowed a hit, but struck out four in two innings of work.
First baseman Baillie Kirker was not in the Arizona lineup due to soreness in her left side sustained after being hit by a pitch against Oklahoma yesterday.
The Cats upped their record to 25-2, while New Mexico fell to 10-15.
UA finishes up tournament play tomorrow against Virginia at 9 a.m.