Arizona softball gets combined no-hitter in blowout win

TUCSON Estela Pinon and Kenzie Fowler combined for the 88th no-hitter in program history Sunday as Arizona cruised to a 12-0 victory over Southern Miss to sweep the series from the Golden Eagles.

Pinon (1-0) and Fowler combined to strike out 12 batters, meaning that just three Golden Eagles (0-3) were able to put the ball in play in the five-inning, mercy-rule-shortened game. The lone Southern Miss base runners came on back-to-back first-inning walks from Piñon with two out.

Pinon pitched the first three innings and struck out seven of the 11 batters she faced. She retired the final seven batters she faced before Fowler retired each of the six batters she saw, five of them via the strikeout.

On the other side of the ball, Arizona (3-0) plated 12 runs on 11 hits. Freshman Mo Mercado went 3 for 3 with five RBI in the contest while Chelsea Goodacre drove in three runs of her own. Courtney Rodriguez chipped in her third multi-hit game of the season, finishing 2 for 2 with a two-RBI double in the second.

On the weekend, Arizona outscored Southern Miss 35-2 and played the minimum 15 total innings in the three games. The Wildcats hit .514 as a team, led by Courtney Rodriguez’s .857 average (6 for 7). Arizona pitchers limited the Golden Eagles to an overall .137 average in the three games.

Arizona had scored in each of its previous eight offensive innings in the first two games of the series before failing to score in the first inning Sunday for the first time all weekend. But the Wildcats made up for it in the second, when they sent 14 batters to the plate and scored nine runs. Mercado got the scoring going with an RBI double, her first of two in the inning. Rodriguez followed with a two-RBI double and Alex Lavine singled in a run to make it 4-0. Hallie Wilson and Chelsea Suitos then had infield singles to load the bases before Kellie Fox was hit by a pitch, bringing in another run. Goodacre’s sac fly made it 6-0, and Arizona would reload the bases before Mercado doubled them clear to give Arizona a 9-0 lead.

The Wildcats added the final three runs in the third, two on a Goodacre infield single and one on a Mercado single up the middle.