The Grand Canyon University softball team opened up play at the Hillenbrand Invitational tonight with a 5-0 loss to Arizona in Tucson, Ariz. The Wildcats, who are ranked 24th in the latest USA Today/NFCA Coaches Poll, held the Antelopes scoreless on Thursday night, allowing only three GCU hits. With Thursday's defeat, the 'Lopes record now sits at 2-4 on the season.
"They battled and competed and even when we were down, our energy was still very good and we were out making plays," said head coach Ann Pierson.
Grand Canyon held the Cats in check for most of the contest, allowing only five hits, with a three-run home run in the third inning doing most of the damage.
Kailey Regester looked sharp in relief, as the sophomore held Arizona scoreless and didn't allow a hit in 3.2 innings of work. Stephanie Pesqueira absorbed the loss after getting the nod in the circle for the 'Lopes.
"Kailey came in and shut them down and threw really well for us," added Pierson. "The defense played great behind her and AJ (Annie Jordan) continued to do a great job behind the plate for us."
Lauren Regester, who is off to a hot start from the plate in 2014, racked up a pair of hits against the Cats.
Camree Wartman accounted for Grand Canyon's other hit, as the freshman entered Thursday's contest with an impressive average of .400.
"Overall I was very pleased with the game and I liked our aggressive approach that we brought to the plate," concluded Pierson.
The two teams will meet again on Sunday afternoon in the Hillenbrand Invitational finale in Tucson.
The 'Lopes will return to action tomorrow with a pair of games, the first being at 11 a.m. against Tennessee State and the second at 1 p.m. against Alabama. Fans can find a link for live stats and a complete recap of Friday's action at www.gculopes.com.
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