Cats Blast Eight Home Runs in Doubleheader Sweep
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Ninth-ranked Arizona saw its offense come alive during a doubleheader sweep of Oregon State on Saturday afternoon at Hillenbrand Stadium, staging an improbable nine-run rally to come-from-behind to win game 1, 9-5, and then run-ruling the Beavers in game 2, 10-2 (5 inn.).
The Wildcats hit eight home runs in the two games; Jessie Harper, Dejah Mulipola, Sharlize Palacios and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza all had two-homer afternoons.
The Cats improved to 17-5 (2-2 Pac-12) with the sweep, while Oregon State fell to 13-10 (2-3 Pac-12). The teams wrap up the four-game set on Sunday at noon at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Game 1: Arizona 9, Oregon State 5
Down 5-0 in the bottom of the fifth inning, Arizona scored the final nine runs, scoring using a five-spot in the fifth to tie the game, and plated four on a go-ahead grand slam by Dejah Mulipola to stun Oregon State in a 9-5, series-clinching victory to open Saturday's doubleheader.
The Wildcats hit three home runs over the final two frames, using a Jessie Harper homer to ignite the rally, a Sharlize Palacios opposite-field home run to tie the game and then Mulipola's grand slam to take the lead.
Arizona used a trio of pitchers in the game, with Alyssa Denham (8-4) picking up the win in relief. She pitched two nearly perfect innings, striking out four of the seven batters she faced. Mariah Lopez started the game, and allowed five runs on a trio of OSU homers in 2.1 innings. Devyn Netz followed with 2.2 scoreless innings in her Pac-12 debut, before Denham finished off the game with a pair of scoreless innings.
The Wildcats fell into an early hole when Oregon State hit a pair of home runs in the second inning to take a 3-0 lead. In the third, the Beavers added to their lead with a two-run home run to make it a 5-0 lead, Arizona's largest deficit since Feb. 14, 2019 vs. Alabama.
UA struggled to respond over the first four innings, failing to score on just a pair of hits through four frames. In the fifth, the bats came alive.
The Cats started the inning with three consecutive singles from Isabella Dayton, Janelle Meono and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza to load the bases with nobody out. Mulipola followed with a sacrifice fly to get the Cats on the board, before a wild pitch plated another. Harper followed with her third home run of the weekend -- and seventh of the season -- a two-run shot that brought the Cats within one. The next batter, Palacios, homered to tie the game.
In the sixth, an error, a single and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Mulipola, who blasted a no-doubt grand slam to left field to give the Cats a 9-5 lead.
The lead held after Denham closed the door in the top of the seventh to complete the comeback win.
Game 2: Arizona 10, Oregon State 2 (5 inn.)
For the second straight game, the Wildcats used late offense to earn a comeback victory over the Beavers, overwhelming OSU with 10 runs on 12 hits in a 10-2, five-inning win to close out the doubleheader.
Arizona's late offense produced the exact same total, nine over the final two innings of the game, scoring five in the fourth and four in the fifth to come from behind and down the Beavers. Oregon State took a 2-0 lead in the top of the first before the Cats plated 10 unanswered.
Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza did the heavy lifting for the Cats, going 3-for-4 with two home runs -- including a walkoff grand slam -- an RBI triple and six total RBI in the game. Dejah Mulipola, Jessie Harper and Sharlize Palacios also homered in the game (all of which came in back-to-back-to-back fashion in the fourth inning).
Harper's homer was her fourth of the weekend and 84th of her career, moving her into a tie for seventh in NCAA history.
Nine different Wildcats had hits in the game. In her first career start, Giulia Koutsoyanopulos went 2-for-3 with a run scored.
Hanah Bowen earned the victory in the circle, with a masterful five innings in which she struck out a career-high-tying eight and walked just one. She allowed two runs on a first-inning home run, but settled in to retire 13 of the final 14 batters. She improved to 3-0 on the season.