Montana Fouts silences Cats’ bats in 5-1 Women’s College World Series win

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One batter earlier, Arizona’s Jessie Harper took another step in her home run chase.

In her final at-bat of the game, Harper hit her 92nd career homer — a blast to center field. She is now tied with former Wildcat Kati Mauga with the second most home runs in college softball history. Only former Oklahoma standout Lauren Chamberlain (95) has more.

“I told myself before that at-bat I was getting Dejah Mulipola another at-bat,” Harper said. “Dejah is super special, oh my goodness I love watching her at-bat. I trusted her 100% and I knew if we can get Dejah another at-bat, it’s going to be good. That was my mindset: ‘You are not going to beat me again.’”

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Arizona pitcher Hanah Bowen pitches in front of a packed crowd of Arizona fans during Thursday’s WCWS opener. Bowen allowed two runs on four hits in four innings, and took the loss.

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Harper hit a solo home run in Game 1 of the 2019 World Series, as well. That was number 29 that year.

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Janelle Meoño was the only other Wildcat to reach base. Her single came in the fourth inning.

“It was difficult for a couple of us to get on time, but I think we did adjust at the end. We just needed to see more pitches and extend out,” Meoño said. “But, we’ll be back ready for the next game.”

Neves appeared to get the best of the Wildcats early — especially on defense. In the first inning, after starter Hanah Bowen forced a one-pitch groundout, she walked two straight batters. With runners on first and second, Jenna Johnson hit a sharp single to left field. The usually sure-handed Meoño had a hard time collecting it and throwing home as a runner crossed the plate. The Pac-12’s Freshman of the Year only had two errors all season long.

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