Softball team sweeps weekend behind 3 no-hitters

By Eric Wein

Arizona Daily Wildcat

As far as pitching goes, what the UA softball team experienced this weekend was as close to perfection as any team could ask for.

They enjoyed three no-hitters while earning four wins while hosting the Hillenbrand Invitational softball tournament.

Nancy Evans (9-0) pitched a five-inning no-hitter yesterday with three walks in an 8-0 win over New Mexico before 1,079 fans. The Wildcats then beat Pacific 12-1 behind a five-hitter from Carrie Dolan (9-0) to close the tournament.

On Saturday, Dolan threw a no-hitter while beating New Mexico 11-0 and Evans completed a phenomenal day of UA pitching by following with her own no-no in a 10-0 win over Pacific. It was only the third time in Arizona history that two pitchers threw back-to-back no-hitters on the same day.

"When you pitch at (Division I), you can't expect to get a no-hitter every game," Evans said. "If you get one, it's like a great achievement. To come out with a no-hitter is amazing for a pitcher."

Evans never thought about throwing no-hitters on consecutive days yesterday.

"The thought never crossed my mind. The thing today was to come out and throw hard the entire game and finish strong," Evans said. "I just try to keep my mind on each batter as it comes and the count at hand. If I start thinking about how many hits I have allowed, for some reason they start getting hits."

The Wildcats (18-0) had few problems at the plate as well. Shortstop Laura Espinoza hit her 13th homer of the year with a three-run blast in the second inning against New Mexico yesterday while the Wildcats got nine runs off of just five hits.

Against the Tigers yesterday, the Wildcats were paced by 15 hits including a two-run double from Jenny Dalton.

"I've been real pleased because I remember when we had teams that we would do what we did (Saturday) and walk out here the next day and it's a 1-0 ball game," UA coach Mike Candrea said. "I think we've grown a lot in that respect. Now we take care of business. I think that's the mark of a true champion.'"

On Saturday, Espinoza hit three homers including a grand slam. Dalton hit her seventh homer of the year.

Arizona plays six doubleheaders during spring break.

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