The Seattle Redhawks opened their season at the Kajikawa Classic with a tough showing. Five games. Five losses. They came into the Hillenbrand Invitational looking to turn that around. They also looked like the week facing Arizona State and Utah pitching made them comfortable in the box against another Pac-12 opponent.
The Redhawks got six hits on the day, most of them sharply hit, but they had difficulty pushing runners across the plate. More importantly, they couldn’t handle the Arizona offense, as the Wildcats claimed their fourth victory of the year with a 10-2 win in five innings.
Dejah Mulipola, Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza and Malia Martinez provided the power for the Wildcats. Mulipola had two hits—both of which left the park—and five RBI. Palomino-Cardoza and Martinez each homered as well.
“It was awesome, just because I wasn’t getting the result that I wanted in my first few at-bats yesterday and today,” Mulipola said. “And so, had a little bit of help on the first one that I hit over the right fielder, but that second one I just saw it big. Coach (Candrea) had told me that he needed me to step up, so I was happy that I was able to come through.”
Palomino-Cardoza ended the night with two hits, three runs, a walk, and two RBI. Martinez had a hit, a walk, a run, and an RBI. Peanut Martinez also knocked a run in with an RBI double.
“I think just as a whole, we got our pregame jitters out from yesterday and today we were a little bit more ourselves going into the box, a little bit more relaxed and just seeing our pitches,” Mulipola said.
Alyssa Denham pitched five innings without surrendering an earned run or a base on balls. She gave up six hits, five of which were singles, and struck out seven. Still, it wasn’t the consistent performance that Arizona head coach Mike Candrea hopes to see from her.
“She tends to run into 3-2 counts a lot, but some pitchers are comfortable with that,” he said. “But I think just the big thing is just having some consistency and nastiness every inning. And I like what I saw at the end of that, so hopefully that’ll carry over.”
Candrea was also concerned about the defense behind Denham, which committed two errors that led to two unearned runs.
“We had that one inning where we gave them five outs and that will always come back to haunt you,” he said. “So, again, part of the process is playing games and cleaning up the mistakes. But I think overall I know like the way we were swinging the bats tonight and today. Ultimately, we have to play good defense, get good pitching and get some timely hits.”
About that no-hitter...
Hanah Bowen threw a five-inning no-hitter against New Mexico in the first game of the doubleheader. She thinks she threw two or three in high school, but couldn’t remember exactly how many. She also drew a walk to force a run in late in the 12-0 victory.
“It felt great,” Bowen said. “My goal was just come out there and command each pitch, and just stay strong and relaxed.”
Bowen threw 48 of her 61 pitches for strikes.
The Wildcats wrap up the Hillenbrand Invitational on Sunday at 3 p.m. MST against Southern Utah. Arizona run-ruled them 8-0 on Friday.