Three Wildcats Named to USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Three Arizona softball seniors -- shortstop Jessie Harper, catcher Dejah Mulipola and centerfielder Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza -- have been named to the USA Softball Player of the Year Top 50 Watch List, announced on Wednesday.
Arizona's three players on the list are the fourth most nationally and mark the fifth consecutive season that the Wildcats have had at least three players named to the list.
Harper, a redshirt senior from Stevenson Ranch, California, is making her fourth consecutive appearance on the USA Softball Player of the Year Watch List. The two-time All-American enters 2021 as the NCAA's active leader in home runs with 76, tied for 12th most in NCAA history, 19 shy of the all-time record. Harper, a Pac-12 all-defensive shortstop, has led the Pac-12 in homers each of the last two seasons, including an NCAA-best 29 in 2019.
Mulipola, a redshirt senior from Garden Grove, California, is receiving the preseason honor for the second time in her career. Mulipola, who missed last season and continues to train this season to participate in the Tokyo Olympics with the U.S. Olympic Team was a first-team All-American catcher her last season in Tucson (2019) while winning both the Johnny Bench and NFCA Catcher of the Year honors. She is a two-time all-Pac-12 and all-region catcher.
Palomino-Cardoza, who enters her sixth season with the Wildcats in 2021, has been on the watch list each of the last three seasons. Palomino-Cardoza has been named a first-team All-American in back-to-back seasons, the first Wildcat to receive back-to-back All-America honors in nearly a decade. The Mission Viejo, California native enters the year with 61 career home runs, third most among active players in the NCAA.
The Pac-12 has not yet announced a schedule for the upcoming season, but the NCAA softball season is scheduled to begin on Feb. 11. Be sure to follow the team on Twitter (@ArizonaSoftball) and check ArizonaWildcats.com for all the latest information on the 2021 season.