By Eric Wein
Arizona Daily Wildcat
Visions of striking out players were running through Nancy Evans' mind long before she would make it out to the pitching circle.
Evans, a sophomore right-hander, had trouble falling asleep Friday night while thinking about starting the Arizona softball team's first game of the season.
"I was excited for the game. I was ready to go and things just couldn't come fast enough," she said. "So I was laying in bed and I was visualizing a lot of the things that would go on. It took a little longer than usual to fall asleep."
Evans (1-0) did eventually get some rest and went on to pitch a three-hitter with six strikeouts during the Wildcats' 13-0 win over New Mexico State before 1,237 fans Saturday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium. Arizona finished the sweep with a 7-1 win in the second game.
Appearing as though they have not missed a beat since last season, the Wildcats' bats came alive in the second inning of the first game with seven runs on six hits, as 12 batters came to the plate.
Second baseman Jenny Dalton cleared the bases with a double in that inning and shortstop Laura Espinoza sent a shot to left field that barely cleared the 200-foot sign next to the foul pole for her first homer of the year.
Arizona's fast and furious run barrage caused the first game to end after just 4 1/2 innings because of the 10-run mercy rule.
Unlike last year, there was only one homer on the day.
"There weren't home runs, but there were extra base hits and that's power too," Dalton said. "The ball is not going over the fence, but it's going in the gaps to the fence."
"The ball wasn't carrying real well," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "I don't know if last year's batch of balls we had were a little lively or not. There were balls that had a chance to go today and just died."
In the second game, Carrie Dolan (1-0) limited New Mexico State to three hits in seven innings. And while the UA bats weren't as productive as they were in game one, Arizona still scored in every other inning starting in the first.
"This team just has great potential," Dalton said. "Any time anybody's up, you're looking at a run."
Said Candrea: "Today, we had numerous balls hit to right-center field from our righthanders. That's usually a good indication we're swinging our bats well."
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