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Janelle Meoño named Pac-12 Freshman of the Year as 9 Arizona softball players earn all-conference honors

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

Janelle Meoño was one of nine Arizona softball players to receive Pac-12 honors on Sunday. The UA outfielder was named the Pac-12 Freshman of Year and made the All-Pac-12 First Team after winning the conference’s batting title with a .442 average, 28 points higher than the next hitter.

The speedy slapper is the first Wildcat to be named the Pac-12 Freshman of the Year since Katiyana Mauga in 2014. The redshirt freshman is also the second straight UA player to win the batting title. Reyna Carranco collected the crown in 2019.

Here’s the full list of Arizona’s Pac-12 accolades plus some background on each player courtesy of a UA press release.

Pac-12 Freshman of the Year

  • Janelle Meoño

Pac-12 Batting Champion

  • Janelle Meoño

First-Team All-Pac-12

  • Jessie Harper
  • Janelle Meoño
  • Dejah Mulipola
  • Sharlize Palacios

Second-Team All-Pac-12

  • Hanah Bowen
  • Alyssa Denham
  • Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza

Third-Team All-Pac-12

  • Reyna Carranco

Pac-12 All-Freshman Team

  • Janelle Meoño
  • Sharlize Palacios
  • Carlie Scupin

Pac-12 All-Defensive Team

  • Jessie Harper
  • Dejah Mulipola
  • Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza

Meoño leads the Pac-12 batting race by nearly 30 points, hitting .442, third highest among freshmen in the NCAA. She held a 27-game hitting streak, second longest in Arizona history and tied for the fourth-longest by a freshman in NCAA history. Meoño is trying to become the first Pac-12 freshman since Stacey Nuveman in 1997 to hit over .450 (and first freshman in Arizona history). She has hit seven doubles, a triple and a home run and stolen 12 bases this season.

Jessie Harper receives her fourth first-team selection and second all-defensive recognition. Harper sits is seventh in the Pac-12 with 13 home runs, giving her 89 for her career - fourth most in NCAA history. She is in the top-12 in the league for homers (13 - 7th), RBI (40 - 8th), runs scored (37 - 12th) and slugging percentage (.660 - 11th). Harper drove in 19 runs in 23 Pac-12 games this season.

Dejah Mulipola is earning her second first-team selection and is also a member of the All-Defensive team. Mulipola leads the Pac-12 in on-base percentage (.524) and is second in home runs (17), RBI (55) and slugging percentage (.858) and is fourth in batting average (.394). She is one of 25 finalists for USA Softball Player of the Year. Mulipola has drawn 30 walks this season, second most in the Pac-12, and has reached base in 47 of 49 games this season. Defensively, Mulipola, who has not committed an error all year, completely shuts down the running game, allowing just seven stolen bases all season (in 11 tries).

Sharlize Palacios is a first-team All-Pac-12 and All-Freshman selection. Palacios is fifth in the Pac-12 with 15 home runs, fourth most among all freshmen in the NCAA this season. Her .689 slugging percentage is eighth best in the Pac-12 while her .426 on-base percentage ranks 14. Impressively, Palacios leads all Pac-12 freshmen in home runs (15) and RBI (44) and six of her home runs have come in Pac-12 play, tied for most on the team with Harper.

Hanah Bowen is receiving her first all-conference nod on the second-team All-Pac-12. She is 8-3 this season and she has the seventh-lowest ERA in the Pac-12 (1.99). Bowen is in the top-six in the conference in both fewest hits allowed per seven innings (4.28 - 4th) and fewest walks per seven innings (1.27 - 2nd).

Alyssa Denham is making her first appearance on the second-team after being selected to the third-team in 2018 and 2019. She leads the team in wins (18), strikeouts (99) and shutouts (7). Denham ranks sixth in the Pac-12 with a 1.93 ERA, but fourth among pitchers with at least 100 innings pitched this season. Denham has held opponents to just a .204 average, allowing just 5.13 hits per seven innings, eighth lowest in the Pac-12 and her seven shutouts are fifth most in the Pac-12.

Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza is a second-team All-Pac-12 selection and all-defensive team member after being named Pac-12 Player of the Week twice this season. She is 15th in the Pac-12 with a .431 on-base percentage and ranks 17th in the Pac-12 with 32 RBI this year. Palomino-Cardoza is second on the team and ninth in the Pac-12 with 21 walks drawn and has scored 38 runs, eight most in the Pac-12.

Reyna Carranco is receiving third-team all-conference for the third time in her career. After missing 22 games with a broken bone in her right hand, Carranco has returned with a vengeance, hitting .457 since returning to the lineup. She has committed just one error defensively this season at second base.

Carlie Scupin is receiving her first selection to the first-team all-conference and the All-Freshmen team. She is hitting .340 with nine home runs and 42 RBI as a freshman. Scupin is a two-time Pac-12 Player of the Week, Arizona’s second ever freshman to win multiple Pac-12 Player of the Week honors. She has also been named Pac-12 Freshman of the Week and a two-time D1 Softball National Freshman of the Week honoree.