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Four former Arizona softball players honored

Wildcats find their way onto Team USA and into the Pima County

four-former-arizona-softball-players-honored-mulipola-denham-balko-fowler-usa-team-pima-county Photo courtesy Arizona Athletics

It’s been a busy week for former Arizona softball players. On Tuesday, two former Wildcats were named to the Team USA roster that will compete in the 2022 Pan American Championship. That was followed by Wednesday’s announcement that two more would be inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame.

Former Arizona catcher Dejah Mulipola has become a mainstay on Team USA, joining the roster before she was even done playing for the Wildcats. She now has company in a former battery mate.

Alyssa Denham rode a great summer on the Athletes Unlimited circuit to a spot in USA Softball’s dugout at the 2022 Pan American Championship. Denham finished third in the AU standings—two positions behind season champion Mulipola—and was the top-finishing pitcher.

Denham had a 2.31 ERA during the 2022 Athletes Unlimted regular season. She gave up 12 earned runs over 27.2 innings. That was an improvement over her rookie season when she pitched 28.1 innings with a 3.71 ERA.

She also pitched in the shortened 2022 AUX season, finishing 39th in the standings.

Mulipola made Arizona 2-0 in AU seasons this year. Former Wildcat Danielle O’Toole won the AUX season earlier in the summer. When the players reconvened, Mulipola took the prize, passing Denham on the final day of the competition. The catcher became the first position player to win an AU season, following pitchers Cat Osterman (2020), Aleshia Ocasio (2021), and O’Toole (2022 AUX).

Two Wildcats who came before Mulipola and Denham were honored by their home county. Native Tucsonans Callista Balko Elmore and Kenzie Fowler Quinn will be inducted into the Pima County Sports Hall of Fame as part of the class of 2022.

Balko Elmore was part of the teams that won Arizona’s last two national titles. The catcher played alongside both head coach Caitlin Lowe and assistant coach Taryne Mowatt-McKinney. She hit 43 home runs in 238 games, including double-digit home runs in each of her final three seasons.

Like Balko Elmore, Fowler Quinn played at Canyon del Oro on the city’s northwest side before committing to her hometown team. She is one of 31 Wildcats who was named an All-American at least twice, getting selected to the first team as a freshman in 2010 and second team as a sophomore in 2011.