TUCSON – With six and a third scoreless innings of relief from Estela Piñon and four home runs to back her up, Arizona defeated Utah 8-3 on Sunday to sweep the series with the Utes.
A day after Arizona (39-9, 12-6 Pac-12) set the school record with eight homers in a game, the power was back on display Sunday at Hillenbrand Stadium. The Wildcats hit four homers Sunday, bringing their NCAA-leading total to 92 long balls.
The victory kept Arizona perfect at home, stretching their winning streak at Hillenbrand this season to 27 games, the fifth longest in Wildcat history.
Piñon (14-5) was nearly unhittable in relief, pitching the final 6.1 innings of the game and giving up just a single hit, a bunt single in the fourth. The senior struck out eight, her most since striking out nine Alabama hitters in her second appearance of the season. She entered in relief of Nancy Bowling, who lasted two-thirds of innings and gave up three runs on two hits with four walks and a strikeout.
Hallie Wilson, Chelsea Goodacre, Mo Mercado and Lauren Young all hit home runs for the Wildcats, who hit 22 homers in five games this week.
Young’s homer, a three-run shot in the third inning, broke a 3-3 tie and put Arizona ahead for good.
Utah (23-24, 5-15 Pac-12) struck for three early runs to chase Bowling with two out in the first. After a pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases, Bridget Castro scored two with a single. Bowling would walk two additional batters to make it 3-0. Piñon entered to get the final out of the inning and leave the bases loaded.
Arizona responded in the second when Goodacre led off the inning with her 20th homer of the year. Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado followed with singles and were at second and third with nobody out. Courtney Rodriguez singled in Mauga before Mercado scored on Hallie Wilson’s sacrifice fly.
UA took the lead in the bottom of the third when Young hit a three-run bomb to left field.
Wilson led off the bottom of the fourth with a solo homer to give Arizona a 7-3 lead.
The Cats used another solo homer, this one off the bat of Mercado, to give the Cats an 8-3 lead in the fifth.
Up next, Arizona heads to Seattle to take on Washington in a three game series May 2-4.