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Underclassmen shine as Arizona softball run rules Southern Utah in season opener

Sharlize Palacios
Photo by Ryan Kelapire

The return of the super seniors was the big storyline for Arizona softball this offseason, but the other returners can play too.

Redshirt freshman Sharlize Palacios and redshirt junior Peanut Martinez homered Friday as UA run-ruled Southern Utah 8-0 in six innings in their long-awaited opener at Hillenbrand Stadium.

The Wildcats also got a career-high three hits—all singles—from redshirt freshman slapper Janelle Meono, who also stole a base and scored when Dejah Mulipola lined a single up the middle for her first hit and RBI since returning from Team USA.

Yes, the super seniors were plenty involved too. Alyssa Denham threw a one-hit shutout in her first start since last March and all five senior position players recorded at least one hit. Four had at least one RBI. Third baseman Malia Martinez walked the game off in the sixth with a two-run shot to right center.

But the story of the game was the bottom of the order. Because if they hit, this lineup will be unstoppable.

Palacios, Arizona’s starting catcher last season, batted seventh and started at designated player. Peanut Martinez hit eighth and started in right field. Meono batted ninth and started in left.

The Wildcats will look to keep it going at 6 p.m. MST when they host New Mexico in the second game of Friday’s doubleheader. UA players and coaches will be available for comment once that contest concludes.