Arizona softball swept a doubleheader Friday afternoon, topping Wisconsin and San Diego in a contrast of softball styles.
The Wildcats won a 1-0 pitcher’s duel against Wisconsin before run-ruling San Diego in a 10-2 affair. The pair of wins move Arizona to 18-2 on the season.
Alyssa Palomino and Aleah Craighton each hit two home runs on the day to lead the Arizona offense.
In the first game of the doubleheader, the Wildcats relied on a complete-game shutout from Taylor McQuillin, who struck out 10 batters while allowing just three hits. It was McQuillin’s seventh shutout of the year.
Arizona scored its lone run on a homer by Palomino in the third inning.
The back stretch of the doubleheader began with the Arizona program welcoming back two greats, Danielle O’Toole and Katiyana Mauga who joined the San Diego staff after graduating from UofA last spring.
The Hillenbrand crowd gave standing ovations to O’Toole and Mauga.
The Wildcats then produced an offensive eruption and pitching outing reminiscent of last year’s Arizona team.
Arizona struck for four home runs, including two from Craighton.
“My BP has been good lately,” Craigthon said. “I just had to change my mindset. I feel like I’m in my groove. This is the normal me. This is how I fit.”
Arizona received another homer from Palomino, giving her three home runs through three games of the Wildcat Invitational. Malia Martinez also hit a homer, her second of the season.
Wildcats starter Hannah Bowen gave a solid performance on the mound, allowing two runs over five innings on just three hits.
Arizona walked off in the bottom of the fifth behind a three-run rally.
The Wildcats return for a morning double header Saturday. Arizona will face South Carolina Upstate at 9am, then rematch Wisconsin at 11am.
“I’m used to playing doubleheaders on the weekends, and I think it’s a good time to see what we’ve got,” Craighton said.