Arizona announced earlier in the week that player families would be able to attend games for the first time this season.
The excitement was short-lived for the Wildcats as 40 minutes before the first pitch Thursday, it was announced that senior second baseman Reyna Carranco had injured her thumb during practice and is out indefinitely, according to the athletic department.
Ironwood Ridge graduate Allie Skaggs took her spot in the lineup.
Despite being a starter down, the Wildcats made quick work of both BYU and Colorado State by run-ruling the Cougars 12-0 in five innings and doing the same against the Rams 9-1 in six innings to improve to 7-0.
Reyna Carranco suffered an injured thumb yesterday in practice and is out indefinitely
— Arizona Softball (@ArizonaSoftball) February 25, 2021
Carranco has been no stranger to injuries during her time at Arizona as she has suffered two different injuries that have kept her out a significant time.
In 2018, she was hit in the face by a fastball from Washington pitcher Taran Alvelo, and in 2019, she was hit in the hands by Alvelo, again suffering a broken thumb that limited her down the stretch of the season.
Against BYU, Arizona scored all 12 of its runs in the first inning on eight hits. The rally featured a grand slam by Dejah Mulipola to blow the game open.
In her first and final season back with the team, Mulipola has started on fire with a batting average of .444 while hitting three home runs and producing 16 RBIs.
In the circle, Alyssa Denham made her third appearance of the season. She matched her performances in the Hillenbrand Invitational last weekend as she dominated BYU going five innings and striking out five batters while allowing two hits and no runs.
It was much of the same in the second game for Arizona as it trounced Colorado State thanks to seven runs through the first three innings of the game. The Wildcats scored their nine runs off nine hits.
Mariah Lopez pitched six innings giving up one run on five hits while striking out seven batters. The single run of the game for Colorado State came from Tara Shadowen, who hit a laser home run over the left-field wall.
With the offense on fire in both games, freshman Carlie Scupin of Tucson High was the star of the night with her three home runs and nine RBIs that led the Wildcats.
Scupin has hit four home runs in the last three games, with the majority of the homers hit towards the opposite field. Through seven games, she is hitting .429 while hitting four home runs and collecting 11 RBIs.
Here are Mulipola and Scupin talking about the team’s performance and discussing the potential of the lineup:
Arizona is a team known for its offense, and in the doubleheader, the team flexed its muscles, hitting an outstanding .483 with runners on base. With runners in scoring position, the Wildcats took it to another level going 12-for-19 for a .632 average.
Here’s Mike Candrea talking about his team’s performance and discussing what he liked out of the players that filled in for Carranco:
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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.