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Arizona softball uses a flurry of home runs to run-rule New Mexico

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

After dropping the first game of the double-header to Alabama, the Arizona Wildcats needed to find their game against the New Mexico Lobos to avoid falling below .500 for the season. They used a flurry of home runs to do just that in a 15-1 run-rule victory.

The Wildcats (5-4) got round-trippers from Reyna Carranco (x2), Dejah Mulipola, Jessie Harper and T Statman. Carranco had two homers on the night for her first two of the season. It was Statman’s first long ball since 2017.

Junior right-hander Alyssa Denham got off to a shaky start, starting the game off by surrendering a walk and single, but kept the Lobos off the board with the first of her five strikeouts and two groundouts.

Denham (3-1, 1.65) settled down quickly. In addition to her five strikeouts, she held New Mexico (2-4) to two hits in three innings while giving up one walk.

Denham was relieved by freshman Vanessa Foreman in the fourth inning. Foreman gave up one unearned run and two hits while striking out two.

Carranco got things going for the ‘Cats in the bottom of the first. After Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza led off with a double down the right-field line, Carranco knocked in two runs with a homer to right-center.

Arizona ended the first with a 4-0 lead on a sacrifice fly from shortstop Ivy Davis and an RBI single from left fielder Carli Campbell.

The Wildcats pushed their lead to 7-0 on a towering shot to right field by catcher Mulipola in the bottom of the second. Mulipola’s fourth home run of the season forced New Mexico to go to the bullpen.

Arizona doubled their lead in the third with a seven-run inning. The Wildcats loaded the bases on a hit batter, a walk and a bunt single. Palomino-Cardoza pushed a run across with a single to right. Carranco followed with her second homer of the day, a grand slam to center. It was Carranco's first grand slam and first two-homer game of her career.

Jessie Harper made it back-to-back homers when she blasted her fifth of the season over the left field wall. Statman homered for Arizona’s 15th, and final, run.

The Wildcats will face Cal State Fullerton on Sunday at 1:30 p.m MST to cap the Hillenbrand Invitational.