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Arizona’s Alyssa Palomino named first-team NFCA All-American

The redshirt sophomore had a tremendous season coming off an ACL tear

Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

A torn ACL didn’t slow down Alyssa Palomino one bit.

The redshirt sophomore first baseman was named a first-team NFCA All-American on Wednesday, earning Arizona’s 100th All-America honor in school history.

Palomino, who suffered her second ACL tear in as many years last May, led the Wildcats in batting average (.363), home runs (19), slugging percentage (.750) and on-base percentage (.446) in 2018.

She was also a first-team all-Pac-12 and all-NFCA West Region selection.

Palomino played center field in her redshirt freshman season, but moved to first base in 2018 to preserve her health and fill a team need.

She becomes Arizona’s 51st individual All-American and UA’s 22nd player to earn first-team All-America honors. Fellow sophomore Jessie Harper was a first-team All-American in 2017.

Harper and Palomino are expected to anchor UA’s lineup once again in 2019. Arizona is returning all but two starters from a squad that reached Super Regionals, where it lost to third-seeded UCLA.

Palomino admitted she dealt with knee soreness throughout the 2018 season, but she only missed two games (one because of food poisoning) and put up career numbers anyway.

“I’ve been fortunate enough to play with Alyssa since I was 12, so I’m kinda used to her out on the field and in the lineup, but I think that the past couple of years have been a little bit different for her,” UA pitcher Taylor McQuillin said before the postseason.

“But I think that it’s only made her stronger. I think that she’s matured more from it.”