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Dejah Mulipola makes 2020 US Olympic team, will miss Arizona’s season

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

Arizona senior catcher Dejah Mulipola has made the 2020 U.S. Olympic team, it was announced Sunday.

She is one of 15 players heading to Tokyo next July. Tryouts were held last week in Oklahoma City. Senior centerfielder Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza did not make the cut.

Mulipola is the 10th Arizona softball product to become an Olympian. Former UA aces Taylor McQuillin and Danielle O’Toole will be representing Mexico in Tokyo.

Mulipola making the Olympic roster means she will miss the 2020 Arizona softball season. She has said she will redshirt and return in 2021.

Mulipola was named Johnny Bench and NFCA Catcher of the Year as a junior in 2019, after hitting .305 with a career-high 23 homers, while providing stellar defense behind the dish.

Sophomore Izzy Pacho or freshman Sharlize Palacios will likely step in as Arizona’s starting catcher in 2020.

Pacho only hit .195 in 41 at-bats as a freshman, but is one of the top hitters to come out of Southern Arizona in recent years. As a senior at Ironwood Ridge, she hit .653 with 13 doubles, nine home runs, a .750 on-base percentage and a 1.094 slugging percentage. She was also a PGF All-American after a standout career with the Oro Valley Suncats.

Palacios, the No. 38 recruit in the country per Extra Inning Softball, hit .566 with 11 home runs while slugging 1.152 as a senior at Eastlake High School, where she holds the school record for home runs.

UCLA had two current players make the US Olympic roster—Pac-12 Player and Pitcher of the Year Rachel Garcia and outfielder Bubba Nickles. Washington ace Gabbie Plain is expected to suit up for Australia.