Nine-Run Fifth Lifts Cats to Run-Rule Win
TAMPA, Fla. -- Second-ranked Arizona kicked off its seven-game Florida road trip with a run-rule win over South Florida on Saturday, beating the Bulls 11-1 in five innings on Saturday night at USF Softball Stadium.
The game, which was delayed by five hours after rain early in the day in Tampa, was close early before Arizona broke it open with nine runs in the top of the fifth inning. A trio of Wildcats went yard in the fifth, with Sharlize Palacios and Allie Skaggs both hitting three-run homers and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza blasting a two-run homer. Skaggs' home run was the first of her career.
The 11 runs the Cats plated supported a gem from Alyssa Denham, who took a no-hitter into the fifth inning before allowing a run on three hits in the final inning. Denham struck out six and walked one while improving to 5-0 on the season. The earned run given up was just the second on the season.
Janelle Meono continued her red-hot start to 2021, going 3-for-3 with an RBI double and three runs scored in the game, tormenting the USF defense with her speed all game. She is hitting a team-best .647 this season.
With the win, Arizona improved to 11-0, extending its winning streak to an NCAA-best 22 games dating back to last year. Nine of Arizona's 11 wins have come via the run rule this year.
Arizona and South Florida meet once again on Sunday at 11 a.m. MST/1 p.m. EST in the second and final game of the series.