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Rough first inning dooms Arizona softball in loss at Florida State

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Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

Arizona softball fell behind early to Florida State on Thursday and never recovered, losing 4-2 to the Seminoles in the first game of a three-game series.

For the second time in three games, the No. 2 Wildcats (13-2) failed to make much noise offensively. Arizona was shut out 2-0 by UCF Monday, then responded with a 8-0 run-rule victory over Florida A&M Wednesday before falling flat against FSU pitcher Kathryn Sandercock.

Arizona’s best chance to break through came in the the top of the third. Down 3-0, Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza drove in Arizona’s first run by way of an RBI groundout.

With two outs in the inning and Janelle Meoño on second, Jessie Harper singled a grounder up the middle, which was snagged by FSU shortstop Josie Muffley before it could escape the infield.

Expecting the ball to roll to the outfield grass, Meoño made a wide turn around third base and was thrown out by Muffley as she dove back for the bag.

Arizona cut the deficit to 3-2 on a Dejah Mulipola fourth-inning homer, her team-high eighth of the season.

The Wildcats found themselves in an early hole after Alyssa Denham allowed three first inning runs without recording an out, thanks to three hits, two walks and a hit by pitch.

Hanah Bowen relieved Denham and induced a double play to escape a bases-loaded jam. The junior tossed six innings, allowing one run—a solo homer—on three hits while striking out five, the silver lining in this game.

Trailing 4-2 in the seventh, Sharlize Palacios led off the inning with a single, but Malia Martinez immediately grounded into a double play to end the threat. Carlie Scupin flew out to end the game.

The Wildcats will have another crack at FSU on Friday afternoon. First pitch is set for 4 p.m. MST on ACC Network Extra.