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Taylor McQuillin throws shutout as Arizona blanks No. 23 Minnesota

It is the Wildcats’ third win over a ranked team

Taylor McQuillin and Malia Martinez
Photo by Ryan Kelapire

Jessie Harper continued her torrid power streak and Taylor McQuillin tossed a two-hit shutout as the Arizona Wildcats blanked No. 23 Minnesota 2-0 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.

It is Arizona’s third win over a ranked team.

Harper, who leads the Pac-12 with 10 homers, smacked the first pitch she saw over the right field wall to give Arizona an early two-run lead in the first, taking advantage of some out-blowing wind.

It came a day after Harper launched three homers in Friday’s doubleheader. While her two-run shot accounted for the game’s only runs, both teams had a couple prime opportunities to score, only to come up empty-handed.

The 12th-ranked Wildcats put runners on the corners with nobody out in the second inning, but three straight pop outs left them stranded.

Arizona then loaded the bases with one out in the sixth, but Rylee Pierce fanned before Izzy Pacho grounded out in a pinch-hit appearance.

Minnesota stranded a runner at third in both the first and fifth innings, wasting Katelyn Kemetmueller’s leadoff triple in the fifth.

McQuillin (5-4, 1.05 ERA) struck out 10 Gophers in her fourth shutout of the season.

Third baseman Malia Martinez made some key defensive plays for the Wildcats, including gunning down Kemetmueller at home in the fifth after snaring a hard grounder.

Tamara Statman continued her hot hitting, going 1 for 2 with a walk in the DP spot. The UA senior has eight hits in 21 at-bats this season.

Arizona (13-5) will face Kent State in the second game of Saturday’s doubleheader.