TUCSON – Seventh-ranked Arizona softball used a walkoff grand slam from Hallie Wilson and a shutout from pitcher Estela Piñon to run-rule Oregon State 9-0 in the series opener Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.
Piñon (8-4) allowed six hits in the contest, only two of which – a blooper and a seeing eye ground ball – left the infield. The senior struck out three and walked three in the complete-game effort.
Wilson, who was homerless in her last 24 games and hitless in her last eight at-bats, hit her second grand slam of the season in the bottom of the fifth to the opposite field to end the game.
Wilson’s homer was one of two on the day for the Cats; Kellie Fox’s fourth-inning two-run homer propelled her into a tie for second in the NCAA with 11 homers and gave her a team-best 42 RBI. Fox went 3-for-3 on the day.
Kelsey Rodriguez added two RBI while Katiyana Mauga went 2-for-3 with two doubles and an RBI in the contest.
Oregon State (11-15, 2-2 Pac-12) had its share of opportunities in the contest. The Beavers put runners on in every inning and had runners in scoring position in four of their five innings but could not score against Piñon.
Arizona (26-6, 1-3 Pac-12) jumped on the Beavers in the bottom of the first inning, scoring three runs before Oregon State could record two outs. Back-to-back singles and a walk loaded the bases with one out for Rodriguez who singled in a pair to put Arizona on the board. Mauga followed with an RBI double to make it 3-0. UA would eventually reload the bases with just one out, but could not plate an additional run.
The Cats added on in the fourth when Kellie Fox hit a two-run homer to left field to score Chelsea Suitos, who reached on an error just prior to Fox’s home run.
In the fifth, Mauga led off by reaching on an error. A walk and a Courtney Rodriguez single would load the bases for Wilson, who homered to left to end the game. It was Wilson’s fourth homer and second grand slam of the season.
Arizona and Oregon State continue the series Sunday as the Wildcats look to take the series from the Beavers at 5:00 p.m. PDT on the Pac-12 Network.