TEMPE — The past few days in the Kajikawa Classic, Arizona has been tested by opponents that you would expect them to run-rule. So, with No. 12 Tennessee ready to face Arizona, this had all the makings to be what should have been a down-to-the-wire matchup.
However, that wasn’t the case as Arizona was able to run-rule Tennessee in a shocking 8-0 victory in five innings. They were able to capitalize on errors made by Tennessee, leading to a five-run first inning. In that inning, Arizona only had one hit by Ivy Davis that scored Izzy Pacho from third.
During the top of the first inning, Denham was able to sit down the first two Tennessee batters, then gave up back-to-back hits. With the pursuit mounting, she was able to kill the rally, inducing Tennessee catcher Ally Shipman into a groundout.
In the circle, Alyssa Denham got the nod to face a Tennessee team that is well known for its speed on the bases.
There was a massive moment in the top of the second when Tennessee looked like it would start a rally. Arizona committed an error that would have cost them a run if it wasn’t for Bella Dayton, who made a fantastic throw to get the runner out at home.
After that, there wasn’t much that was noteworthy. Both pitchers hit their strides, keeping the offenses in check.
Denham finished the game going all five innings with four strikeouts on just 76 pitches of work.
Arizona went on to run-rule Tennessee in the fifth inning that featured an RBI single from Davis, which was her second RBI of the game. Then, a walk-off single from Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza to end the game.
If there were an M.V.P. for Arizona in this year’s Kajikawa Classic, it would be Palomino-Cardoza, who hit three home runs and drove in eight RBIs.
Here is coach Mike Candrea on how he thought his team performed against No. 12 Tennessee.
Arizona played Davis at first against Tennessee as it tried to figure out its roster and lineup. Davis went 2-for-3 with two RBIs and a run. Here’s what she had to say about her day at the plate and she fared at first.
Arizona will be back in action Friday as they start the Hillenbrand Invitational against Long Beach State at 2 p.m. local time.