Arizona Defeats New Mexico State, Falls to Team Mexico
TUCSON, Ariz. -- No. 8 Arizona Softball split Saturday's doubleheader, downing New Mexico State, 8-0 in five innings before dropping the nightcap to Team Mexico, 3-2, in an exhibition game.
Arizona improved to 24-5 with the win over the Aggies. The Cats are now set for six games next week. Arizona will face Grand Canyon at Hillenbrand Stadium in a doubleheader on Wednesday before heading to Tempe for a four-game series at Arizona State.
Game 1: #8 Arizona 8, New Mexico State 0 (5 inn.)
Malia Martinez homered twice and drove in six runs as eighth-ranked Arizona run-ruled New Mexico State, 8-0 in five innings for UA's 10th straight win and 22nd consecutive victory at home to improve to 24-5 this season.
Mariah Lopez tossed the shutout in the circle for the Cats, tossing five scoreless innings with six strikeouts and two walks. She allowed four hits, all singles, in the outing. The senior improved to 6-1 this season.
Arizona grabbed the early lead in the bottom of the first. After a pair of leadoff walks to Janelle Meoño and Reyna Carranco, Palacios doubled them both home to give the Cats the early 2-0 lead. It marked Palacios' fourth and fifth first-inning RBI of the weekend after a three-run homer in the first yesterday.
In the third, with the bases loaded nad two out, Martinez hit her first homer of the day, a grand slam to left. It was her second grand slam in as many weekends and Arizona's eighth of the year in just 29 games.
Two innings later, she ended the game with a two-run homer to left.
Meoño went 2-for-2 in the game, extending her hitting streak to 15 games. She is now 7-for-her-last-7 at the plate.
Game 2: Team Mexico 3, Arizona 2
In an exhibition game to finish off the Bear Down Fiesta, the Mexican National team defeated Arizona, 3-2, in Saturday's nightcap.
Nineteen Wildcats got a chance to face the Olympic team, as head coach Mike Candrea used nearly his entire team in the contest. Four pitchers took the circle while 16 had a plate appearance against Team Mexico.
The Cats scored their two runs on a first-inning Dejah Mulipola home run. Team Mexico plated its three runs on a trio of solo shots, including a seventh-inning Sashel Palacios homer to break the 2-2 tie.
In the circle for the Cats, Devyn Netz got the start and allowed two hits -- both solo homers -- over two innings. Alyssa Denham tossed the next three innings and allowed just one baserunner -- a single -- over three scoreless innings with strikeout. Hanah Bowen pitched a scoreless sixth with one strikeout and one walk. Mariah Lopez pitched the seventh inning and surrendered a solo home run, but struck out two in her one inning of work.
For Team Mexico, former Wildcat All-American pitchers Danielle O'Toole and Taylor McQuillin pitched the majority of the game. O'Toole pitched three innings and allowed two runs on Mulipola's homer. She struck out one in the start. McQuillin relieved O'Toole in the fourth and tossed three scoreless, hitless innings with two strikeouts and one walk.
Offensively, the UA freshmen showed up once again for the Cats. Four of Arizona's five hits came from freshmen in the game. Janelle Meoño, Isabella Dayton and Jasmine Perezchica all singled in the game, while Netz hit a seventh-inning double. She was the tying run in scoring position for Arizona when the game ended.