Arizona’s leadership, discipline on display in 8-0 trouncing of GCU

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Amy Bailey | The Daily Wildcat Arizona Wildcats cheer on Alyssa Palomino (32) after hitting a home-run during the Arizona-New Mexico State game at the Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium on Wednesday April 18 in Tucson Ariz.

Dejah Mulipola drove in four runs and Taylor McQuillin threw five scoreless frames as Arizona softball secured the sweep of GCU on Sunday afternoon, winning 8-0 in six innings. The win is Arizona’s ninth in a row.

Sunday’s game was also senior day for Aleah Craighton, Robyn Porter and Ashleigh Hughes. Porter got the start at designated player, which was only her second start of the season. Porter went 1-2 and scored a run. Porter is a career .185 hitter whose biggest contributions were made as simply being a good teammate. She and Hughes are the only two players remaining from their recruiting class.

While McQuillin and Mulipola, both non-seniors, led the way for the ‘Cats, it was senior Aleah Craighton who got the scoring started for the ‘Cats. Craighton drove second baseman Reyna Carranco in with a single up the middle in the bottom of the first. Two batters later, Craighton came around to score, along with Jessie Harper, on an Joelle Krist RBI single to extend Arizona’s lead to 3-0.

Craighton drove in a run in the second inning, as well, when Arizona’s plate discipline was on full display. The senior later walked on a 3-1 count with the bases loaded to score Reyna Carranco. Three walks preceded Craighton to load the bases for her.

Craighton, a transfer from ULL, may have gotten Arizona started offensively, but it was Mulipola who finished the job for the 'Cats. Mulipola hit a two-run home run in the bottom of the fourth to extend Arizona’s lead to six to nothing. The slugger later hit a walk off, two-run single to extend Arizona’s lead eight and put the mercy rule in effect.

Taylor McQuillin put on yet another clinic in the circle for Arizona. She faced only five batters more than the minimum of 15 in five innings of work. McQuillin gave up three hits and a walk, while the fifth batter reached on McQuillin’s own throwing error. She also struck out seven batters. She moves to 24-9 on the season with a 1.60 ERA.

Hughes is still sidelined with a broken hand but was able to enter the game as a pinch runner. She received a  loud round of applause from the Hillenbrand faithful for her four years with the program.

Arizona’s final series of the regular season is next week at Stanford. The first game is on Thursday at 5 p.m. and all three games will be televised on Pac-12 Networks.


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