Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza‘s RBI single in the seventh lifted No. 7 Arizona to a 2-1 win over No. 8 Alabama on Friday in Tuscaloosa.
It is a revenge victory for the Wildcats, who were eliminated from the Women’s College World Series by the Crimson Tide last June.
Mariah Lopez (8-2) was strong in the circle, allowing seven hits and one walk while striking out nine in a complete-game effort.
Arizona (14-3) grabbed an early lead in the first when Reyna Carranco and Sharlize Palacios executed a double steal to plate Carranco.
Alabama (10-6) immediately answered in the home half when KB Sides ripped an RBI double to center.
Arizona only amassed four hits, but two in the seventh plus a key walk by Jenna Kean. The junior got aboard with one out in the frame and promptly swiped second. After a groundout advanced her to third, Palomino-Cardoza singled to left to score the go-ahead run.
It is Arizona’s third win over a ranked team, the others coming against No. 11 Tennessee and No. 18 Missouri.
This one, because of what Alabama did to Arizona last season, was certainly sweeter. The two teams will rematch Saturday at 3 p.m. MST.