Dejah Mulipola hit a game-winning grand slam in the sixth inning as Arizona softball overcame its largest deficit of the season to beat Oregon State 9-5 in the first game of Saturday’s doubleheader.
The Wildcats trailed 5-0 in the fifth but Jessie Harper and Sharlize Palacios clubbed back-to-back homers to pull them even. The rally was ignited by leadoff singles by Bella Dayton, Janelle Meoño and Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza. Mulipola drove in Dayton with a sac fly and Meoño came home on a passed ball before Harper uncorked a two-homer to right. Palacios’ solo shot went to the same spot.
The Wildcats loaded the bases again in the sixth, thanks to a throwing error, a bunt single by Dayton and a walk by Palomino-Cardoza. Mulipola lined a 3-1 pitch into the left-field bleachers.
Arizona (16-5, 2-2) has now won two in a row after snapping its three-game losing streak on Friday. The Wildcats have won 13 straight against Oregon State dating back to 2016.
Alyssa Denham picked up her second win in as many days, tossing two scoreless innings in relief to close the game out. Freshman Devyn Netz was also clutch out of the bullpen, logging 2.2 scoreless innings to keep the Beavers at bay after they launched three homers off Mariah Lopez to take a 5-0 lead in the third.
It took the Wildcats a few frames to answer, but their response was explosive.
Harper’s two-run shot, which cut the deficit to 5-4, was the 83rd of her career, tying her with Jessica Warren and Danyele Gomez for eighth-most in NCAA history. Harper homered twice in Friday’s 7-0 win, the first sign that a struggling offense is starting to come back to life.
The second game of Saturday’s doubleheader, which is a non-conference game, will begin around 5. Postgame interviews are not conducted between games, so enjoy these highlights instead...
That. Just. Happened.— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) March 27, 2021
We are not worthy, @dejahmulipola! pic.twitter.com/YYFuOX09rd
TIE GAME!— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) March 27, 2021
FIVE-RUN FIFTH!@sharpalacios pic.twitter.com/Kj0dts5TLu
SHE DID IT AGAIN!— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) March 27, 2021
Jessie Harper makes this a one-run game with her third home run of the weekend!#BearDown | @jesss_harperr pic.twitter.com/fMzJD5tvlV