Harper's Homers Lead Arizona Past Oregon State
TUCSON, Ariz. -- After nearly a month away from Hillenbrand Stadium, ninth-ranked Arizona Softball returned home and returned to its winning ways, downing Oregon State, 7-0 in game 1 of the four-game series on Friday.
Jessie Harper hit two home runs, her fifth and sixth of the season, and 81st and 82nd of her career, moving her into a tie for 10th in NCAA history, driving in five of UA's seven runs in the victory.
Harper's homers supported a shutout from Alyssa Denham, who struck out four in the game. Denham allowed 10 hits, but pitched around trouble seamlessly all night; Oregon State went 0-6 with runners in scoring position. Denham improved to 7-4 with the win.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the bottom of the second when Sharlize Palacios singled, moved to second on a passed ball, moved to third on a groundout, and then scored on another passed ball.
In the third, OSU pitcher Mariah Mazon retired the first two Wildcats of the inning before Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza extended the frame with a walk. Dejah Mulipola followed with a walk of her own, and then Harper brought them home with her first homer of night.
In the fifth, Janelle Meoño singled -- her second hit of the night -- and stole second to get into scoring position for Palomino-Cardoza, who singled to center to make it a 5-0 Arizona lead. Two batters later, Harper homered again, a two-run shot to put Arizona ahead 7-0.
Arizona improved to 15-5 (1-2 Pac-12) with the win while Oregon State dropped to 13-8 (1-3 Pac-12). The series continues on Saturday with a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. MST. at Hillenbrand Stadium.