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Arizona Beats Arkansas 10-4 to Move Within One Win of WCWS

May 28, 2021

FAYETTEVILLE, Ark. -- Eleventh-seeded Arizona Softball's offense stayed hot, plating 10 runs on 12 hits -- including four homers -- as the Cats beat Arkansas, 10-4, to move within one win of the Women's College World Series.

The Wildcats were firing on all cylinders on Friday night in Bogle Park, racing out to a 2-0 lead in the top of the first inning and never looking back. UA overwhelmed a trio of Arkansas pitchers, including SEC Pitcher of the Year Mary Haff, who they chased after 4.1 innings and five runs.

Dejah Mulipola hit two of Arizona's four home runs, a first-inning two-run shot and a sixth-inning solo shot, the second of a back-to-back sequence with Jessie Harper, who hit her 91st career home run in the game, moving into solo third in NCAA history.

UA's fourth home run came from Sharlize Palacios, who went 2-for-4 with three RBI, giving her an amazing 13 RBI this postseason -- more than any other player in the country.

In the circle, Hanah Bowen went the distance for the Cats. She struck out eight and walked one while giving up just four hits. She gave up four runs -- all on home runs to the nation's No. 4 home run hitting team. Bowen improved to 10-3 on the season with the complete-game victory. 

Arizona wasted little time in the first to make a statement. After Janelle Meoño led off the game with a single, Dejah Mulipola blasted her 20th home run of the season to left field to give Arizona the early 2-0 lead.

While Hanah Bowen kept the Razorbacks' bats at bay in the circle, the Wildcats added to their lead in the third. Meoño reached on an error and was sacrificed into scoring position. Arkansas opted to walk Dejah Mulipola, so Sharlize Palacios singled home Meoño to put Arizona up 3-0 in the third.

Arkansas did not have a baserunner until the fourth, when it began the frame home run, double. Bowen retired the next three to limit the damage.

In the top of the fifth, the Razorbacks walked Mulipola to get to Palacios, who homered to center field, a tape-measure shot over the crowd on the berm beyond the outfield. The Cats got two more on the board when Malia Martinez doubled in two runs to put the Cats up 7-1.

Arkansas got one back in the home half when Aly Manzo hit her first home run of the season to left-center.

The home run party continued in the top of the sixth when Harper hit a two-run bomb and Mulipola followed with her second of the game to put Arizona up 10-2.

Arkansas extended the game with a two-run homer, but it would be as close as the Razorbacks would come, as Bowen shut the door to win game 1, 10-4.

Now, Arizona is one win away from its 24th Women's College World Series appearance and first road super regional championship since 2009. The Cats will try to close out the series on Saturday at 2 p.m. MST on ESPN2.