Cats Collect Season-High 15 Hits in Run-Rule Win
TUCSON, Ariz. -- Tenth-ranked Arizona Softball put on an offensive clinic on Friday night, run-ruling visiting Utah, 12-1 in five innings to open the four-game series at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The Wildcats plated their dozen runs on a season-best 15 hits, including five home runs. Sharlize Palacios went 3-for-3 with two of those five homers and five RBI.
All nine of the UA starters had a hit in the game, including perfect 3-for-3 nights from Palacios and Malia Martinez. Reyna Carranco went 2-for-3 with two RBI and Jessie Harper went 2-for-3 with a solo homer and an RBI double.
Harper's second-inning home run was the 87th of her career, moving her into a tie for fourth in NCAA history with Wildcat Stacie Chambers. She is three away from becoming the fourth player in NCAA history to hit 90 career homers.
— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) April 24, 2021
In the circle, Hanah Bowen picked up the victory in her first career game 1 conference start. She pitched four scoreless, fanning two and allowing three hits. She improved to 5-1 on the season. Devyn Netz pitched the final inning of the game and allowed a run on two hits.
Arizona did the majority of its damage in the second inning, when the Cats plated six runs on eight hits, including back-to-back home runs from Harper and Palacios to open the frame.
UA tacked on the two-point conversion in the third inning when Malia Martinez and Carlie Scupin hit back-to-back homers, UA's second back-to-back sequence of the night.
During that three-inning stretch from the second inning to the fourth, Arizona went 15-for-21 (.714) at the plate with five homers two doubles.
Arizona added four in the fourth. Harper hit an RBI double before Palacios went deep for the second time with a three-run opposite-field homer.
The Utes got on the board with a solo homer in the top of the fifth, but it was not enough to stop the run-rule, as the Cats closed out the 12-1, five-inning win.
The Wildcats improved to 28-8 (7-5) this season while Utah fell to 17-20 (2-11). The two teams meet again on Saturday in a doubleheader beginning at 2 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium. Game 1 will be a conference game while game 2 will be a nonconference tilt.
- Arizona won its 25th home game in-a-row dating back to last season, tied for the sixth longest home winning streak in school history. If Arizona wins game 1 on Saturday, it will be the longest winning streak at Hillenbrand Stadium since a 70-game home winning streak from 2000-2002.
- Janelle Meoño extended her hitting streak to 22 games with a second-inning single. It matches Chelsie Mesa's 22-game hitting streak in 2007 as the longest recorded hitting streak in Arizona history since Amy Chellevold's school-record 30-game streak in 1994.
- Sharlize Palacios' two-homer night was the 10th multi-homer game of the season by a Wildcat and second by her. She had two vs. New Mexico State on April 9. Her two home runs moved her into second on the team with a dozen homers this season, tied for 11th most in Arizona freshman history.
- Arizona has now won seven straight games vs. Utah and has outscored the Utes 83-12 in those seven games. UA is 40-10 all-time vs. Utah.
- The Wildcats hit five home runs, their most in a Pac-12 game since 2019. UA now has 66 homers this season.
- Arizona's 15 hits are the most since April 13, 2019 vs. Grand Canyon (15).