TEMPE — No. 8 Arizona’s 4-3 loss to No. 13 ASU on Friday night included the unfortunate development of outfielder Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza suffering an injury on the last play of the game when she tried to beat out a ground ball.
Palomino-Cardoza, a sixth-year senior who has suffered a torn ACL injury in both knees in her Arizona career, fell to the ground after running to first base on the ground out. She needed help getting up after being evaluated while she was on the ground.
The status of her injury is undetermined. Arizona did not stage postgame interviews with the media.
FINAL: ASU 4, Arizona 3
Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza grounds out as the Sun Devils escape a bases-loaded jam to take the first game of the series.
APC injured her leg on the play and had to be helped off the field. Hopefully she’s OK. pic.twitter.com/8Kdf9Ux0X9
— Ryan Kelapire (@RKelapire) April 17, 2021
Arizona (26-6, 6-3 Pac-12) had a 12-game winning streak entering the game, but the Wildcats are now 1-6 against Top 25 teams with four straight losses.
Arizona did not allow a run to ASU since 2018 coming into the game. Mike Candrea’s team swept the three-game series in 2019 without allowing a single run.
History didn’t repeat itself Friday as ASU (26-10, 7-6) scored four runs in four innings.
Arizona’s starting pitcher was Alyssa Denham, who in her last start helped pitch a shutout against Grand Canyon, labored through 2 2/3 innings on 76 pitches, giving up three runs on three hits and three walks.
Hanah Bowen came in to relieve her and gave the team a much-needed boost with Arizona trailing 3-0. Bowen pitched 3 1/3 innings, allowing one run on 60 pitches. She gave up two and struck out five.
The majority of Arizona’s offense came from freshman catcher Sharlize Palacios, who went 1-for-3 with a two-run home run that put the Wildcats on the board in the fourth inning.
With one out in the seventh inning, with Arizona trailing 4-3, Jessie Harper was intentionally walked to load the bases and create the possibility of a force out at any base.
‘Cats back in it! 😼
Sharlize Palacios with the two-run bomb to cut @ArizonaSoftball’s deficit to one in the 4th inning.
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 17, 2021
Palacios came to the plate, and after a six-pitch at-bat, she struck out swinging.
Palomino-Cardoza was the next batter. She fouled off numerous pitches after falling behind 1-2 in the count. She then grounded to the shortstop and the throw barely beat her for the last out as her left foot landed awkwardly on first base.
She tumbled to the ground. Trainers evaluated her while she was in obvious pain on the ground. They seemed to be stretching out the knee.
Arizona continues its four-game series with ASU with a doubleheader Saturday starting at 5 p.m. More information concerning Palomino-Cardoza’s injury should be available by that time.
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ALLSPORTSTUCSON.com writer Troy Hutchison hails from Tucson and is a lifelong Arizona Wildcats follower. He has been involved in sports journalism over the last two years while taking communications courses at Pima Community College.