Shelby Babcock made a lasting first impression her freshman season with University of Arizona softball.
The former Legacy High School pitcher was named to the PAC-10 All-Freshman Team. She posted a 17-8 record with a 3.98 ERA. And was on the mound 170.2 innings for the Wildcats, the seventh most in the conference.
A first go-around such as that in major college ball is a lot to live up to, but as far there has been little slump in Babcock’s sophomore year. The two-time Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year and three-time Class 5A state champion has become 13th-ranked Arizona’s ace in her second season in the ring.
Babcock has monopolized the mound in the Wildcats’ three-arm rotation, with the right-hander pitching 115 innings 35-games into Arizona’s 2012 campaign. And the sophomore has only grown stronger in the lead role, lingering at the top of nearly every Wildcat pitching statistic.
Babcock has the lowest ERA (2.43), the second-most strikeouts (99) and, at 13-7, has the staff’s most wins. She also has six shutouts on the season, her most recent coming in one of her most weighty wins of the season. The pitcher helped take two games of three at No. 4 Washington April 5, striking out four Huskies and holding the team to five hits.