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Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza’s walk-off homer propels Arizona softball past Boise State

COLLEGE SOFTBALL: MAR 07 Boise State at Arizona Photo by Jacob Snow/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

A liner off the bat of Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza allowed Arizona to survive another lifeless game at the plate.

Her seventh-inning walk-off homer lifted No. 4 Arizona to a 2-1 win over Boise State after the Wildcats stranded two runners in the first, fourth, fifth, and sixth innings.

Their inability to get the key hit meant it was another laborious day for Arizona’s pitchers.

Alyssa Denham (8-1) only allowed four hits in a complete-game effort but threw 101 pitches and had to work her way out of some potentially fatal situations. None bigger than in the sixth when the Broncos put two runners on base with one out for No. 5 hitter Bella Rocco, who had homered off Denham in the second to knot the game at 1-all.

Rocco jumped ahead 3-1 in the count but Denham induced a weak liner that UA first baseman Ivy Davis tracked down in foul territory. The next batter, Jessie McKay, popped out to second to end the threat.

It was nearly identical to the fourth inning when McKay popped out to short to strand runners on first and second.

Arizona’s only successful at-bat with runners in scoring position came in the top of the first when Malia Martinez lifted a sacrifice fly to right. The next batter, Marissa Schuld, lined into a double play to end the frame and foreshadow what was to come for the next several innings.

It likely was not the response head coach Mike Candrea was hoping for after expressing frustration with the team’s approach after Friday’s win over South Dakota.

“We just looked clueless at the plate,” Candrea said then. “And I don’t know if it’s just the mindset’s not there, but sometimes we just get ourselves out because we’re just not ready to hit. We’re not ready to hunt a pitch and put a good swing on it, and then we took a long time making an adjustment with timing.”

The Wildcats (19-3) wrap the Saturday doubleheader at 4:30 p.m. MT vs. Southern Illinois-Edwardsville. They have won eight straight.