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Arizona softball squeaks by Long Beach State to open Hillenbrand Invitational

Malia Martinez high fives Mariah Lopez
Photo by Ryan Kelapire

Early but not often.

Arizona softball scored two runs in the first inning, overcoming an early deficit in a 2-1 win over Long Beach State on Friday in its home opener.

A pair of two-out doubles gave the Beach a 1-0 lead in the first, which the Wildcats immediately matched in the bottom of the frame when Malia Martinez singled to left and Peanut Martinez walked with the bases loaded.

Ivy Davis struck out to end the frame, foreshadowing of frustrating game at the plate in which the Wildcats smacked peppered eight hits (seven singles) but left nine on base.

Mariah Lopez bounced back nicely from the early tally, tossing a complete game in her first-ever appearance at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Oklahoma transfer allowed six hits while striking out six.

Lopez found herself in a jam in the third but worked out of it. After a line drive ricocheted off Davis’ glove and bounced into right field for a two-out double, a single put runners on the corners. Lopez punched out the next batter to end the frame.

The righty is 4-0 with a 0.75 ERA in her first 18.2 innings of work at Arizona.

Freshman Bella Dayton shined in the No. 9 spot, notching a single, a walk, and three stolen bases. Seniors Malia Martinez, Jessie Harper, and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza had two hits apiece. Palomino-Cardoza had Arizona’s only extra-base hit, leading off the home half of the first with a double to left.

The Wildcats (6-0) will complete the Friday doubleheader at 5:30 p.m. MST vs. Northern Iowa.