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Jessie Harper’s homers lead Arizona softball to run-rule win at Florida A&M

Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

Jessie Harper hit a pair of home runs including a grand slam to lead No. 2 Arizona softball to a 8-0 run-rule victory against Florida A&M on Wednesday in Tallahassee.

The victory puts Arizona back in the win column following a Monday loss to UCF. The Wildcats (13-1) have now won 11 games by run-rule.

With her two blasts, Harper became the 11th player in NCAA softball history with 80 career home runs. She is one of five Wildcats to reach that milestone.

The senior shortstop also recorded a career-high six RBIs. She knocked in a solo shot in the top of the first, then an inning later hit a grand slam followed by an RBI single in the top of the fourth.

Harper’s first inning home run was immediately followed by a solo homer from Dejah Mulipola, which put Arizona ahead 2-0 after one frame. The lead grew to 6-0 on Harper’s grand slam, and the Wildcats added two more runs in the fifth off Harper’s RBI single and a RBI fielder’s choice off the bat of Sharlize Palacios.

In the circle, Arizona turned to a trio of pitchers who combined for a five inning, two-hit shutout.

Hannah Bowen struck out three and allowed one hit over the first two innings. She was followed by Devyn Netz, who also struck out three batters while giving up no hits and one walk. Netz earned the victory to move to 2-0 on the year.

Jessie Fontes closed the game with a scoreless fifth inning where she struck out two and allowed one hit. It was the first time Fontes and Netz have pitched since Feb. 21. Netz had been battling a minor foot/leg injury.

The Wildcats will stay in Tallahassee for a three-game road series against No. 15 Florida State starting Thursday. The opener begins at 4 p.m. MST and will be broadcast on ACC Network Extra.