Oklahoma senior right-hander Mariah Lopez is transferring to Arizona, giving the Wildcats a huge boost in the circle for the 2020 season.
The Saugus, California native went 19-1 with a 1.25 ERA in 2019, holding opponents to a .159 batting average while tallying 159 strikeouts in 117.2 innings.
Lopez also appeared in two Women’s College World Series games, helping the Sooners advance to the championship series.
Lopez was OU’s No. 2 pitcher, but will make a strong case to be Arizona’s new ace. The Wildcats lost ace Taylor McQuillin to graduation, but return No. 2 starter Alyssa Denham, who went 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA in 108.1 innings as a junior in 2019.
Arizona also returns underclassmen Hanah Bowen, Marissa Schuld and Vanessa Foreman. Bowen and Schuld posted 0.48 ERAs, but only pitched a combined 43.2 innings.
The Wildcats recruited Lopez out of high school. She played travel ball for the OC Batbusters, a club UA recruits heavily.
“She’s a great fit on our team and will make an excellent addition to our already accomplished pitching staff,” UA coach Mike Candrea said in a statement. “She brings Women’s College World Series experience and comes to Arizona with already decorated collegiate career. She played with many of our current players in travel ball and has worked with Susie Parra, so there’s a level of familiarity that you don’t often get with transfers. I’m very excited to add Mariah and the incoming freshmen to our great group of returners and can’t wait to see this team compete in 2020.”
With Lopez in the fold and most of its lineup set to return, Arizona figures to be in great shape to make another run to the WCWS.
The biggest question mark is whether or not star catcher Dejah Mulipola will be on the team. The senior will miss the season if she makes Team USA’s roster for the 2020 Olympics.