Wildcat softball goes 2-0 on double-header home opener
The Arizona Wildcats softball team opened played their long awaited home opener Saturday night, after rainouts on Thursday and Friday. Arizona played the University of Louisiana at Monroe first, and won 4-0, and then turned around to beat Montana 2-1.
Arizona head coach Mike Candrea handed sophomore transfer Alyssa Denham the start on the mound in game one. She was lights-out, throwing a complete game shutout.
Denham only gave up five hits, didn’t walk a batter, and recorded five strikeouts in her seven innings of work. Denham has now given up only one earned run in nineteen innings as a Wildcat. She moves to 3-0 on the year.
All four of Arizona’s runs in game one came via home run. Reyna Carranco got the bats going for UA, homering in the bottom of the first. The game’s next runs would come in the fifth inning, as Jessie Harper took her fifth round trip in three games. Carranco was also on base for Harper’s home run.
The next two runs of the game would come in the form of a Jessie Harper two-run homer, her fifth in three games. Alyssa Palomino then hit a home run of her own in the sixth inning while pinch hitting.
Joelle Krist took the place of Palomino in the infield, a move some might not have expected from coach Candrea.
“I was a little concerned with her [Palomino's] knee-sloppy field. Joelle deserves a shot and that was her opportunity, and then Alyssa came in and hit the home run, which was nice to see,” said Candrea.
Game two was a much more different story.
Junior Taylor McQuillin started the game for Arizona, and after striking out the first two batters, gave up a home run.
The Arizona bats didn’t respond being down early well. Arizona didn’t get on the board until the third inning, when Dejah Mulipola hit a two run home run to put Arizona up 2-1.
After a leadoff walk in the top of the third, McQuillin did’t allow a runner on until the leadoff hitter of the seventh inning. McQuillin walked the leadoff batter in the seventh inning, but that runner was caught stealing, giving Mulipolah her second throw out of the game and third of the day.
When asked if she could steal on Mulipolah, Jessie Harper responded, “No. I am very, very slow. I wouldn’t even try.”
Arizona’s next game is Sunday, Feb. 19, against Colorado State, at 1:00 p.m. That game is followed by a game at 3:00 p.m., against Bryant.
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