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Jessie Harper homers as Arizona softball cruises past McNeese State in Alabama

COLLEGE SOFTBALL: FEB 15 UIC at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Jessie Harper launched her sixth homer of the season and No. 7 Arizona cruised to a 7-2 win over McNeese State on Friday to open the Easton Crimson Classic in Tuscaloosa, Alabama.

The Wildcats (13-3) will complete the doubleheader at 5 p.m. MST against No. 8 Alabama, the host team.

Arizona led 3-0 in the fifth when Harper broke the game open with a three-run shot to right, the 72nd of her career, 20 shy of tying UA’s all-time record.

Alyssa Denham carried a no-hitter into the sixth, but saw it get broken up by a one-out bloop single. The Cowgirls (15-4) followed it up with a double, hit by pitch and single to plate their first run, then an RBI fielder’s choice to score their second.

The Wildcats notched nine hits and a pair of walks from eight different players. They hit 5 for 10 with runners in scoring position, an area they struggled in last week.

Malia Martinez opened the scoring in the first with a clutch two-out, two-run single up the middle.

Ivy Davis added an RBI groundout in the fourth and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza lifted a sacrifice fly to left in the sixth, her team-best 21st RBI of the season.