It’s not how many hits you get; it’s when you get them.
Arizona softball coach Mike Candrea says it all the time and it rang true Saturday as the Wildcats punched their ticket to their 24th Women’s College World Series.
Arkansas starter Autumn Storms was carrying a perfect game in the fifth inning when Sharlize Palacios snuck a one-out single through the left side. One pitch later, the Wildcats had the lead.
Sixth-year senior Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza, celebrating her 24th birthday, lifted a two-run homer to left, the decisive blow in a 4-1 win over the Razorbacks in the Fayetteville Super Regional.
“I just told myself to breathe and to take it one pitch at a time,” Palomino-Cardoza said. “My previous at-bat, I hit a back door (curve to the wall) and Cait (Lowe) told me to stay on it. And that’s what I got first pitch and…I took a hack and it felt good off the bat.”
The Wildcats added two more runs in the sixth when freshman Carlie Scupin lined a two-run single to right, the first hit of that inning. Two errors and a walk had loaded the bases.