TUCSON, AZ - In 2014, Arizona softball had the nation's most potent office. It picked up right where it left off in the season opener against Oklahoma State scoring 12 runs on 12 hits, including three home runs. Arizona defeated Oklahoma State 12-2 in five innings on Friday night at Hillenbrand Stadium.
After falling behind on a second-inning solo homer by Oklahoma State's Mallory Collins, Arizona's offense exploded in the second inning to score six runs; UA hit three home runs in the frame.
Katiyana Mauga, Trish Parks and Kellie Fox all had home runs as a part of the six-run second. UA would add six more runs in its next at-bat.
It was an impressive debut for Parks, who totaled three RBI to lead the team, including a two-run home run on the first pitch of her career. She got it done in the circle as well, allowing only one unearned run over two innings. The freshman struck out two of the eight batters she faced.
Mo Mercado went 3-for-3 with a pair of doubles, an RBI and two runs scored.
Nancy Bowling (1-0) earned the win in her season debut going three innings and allowing one run on three hits, with four strikeouts.
Bowling, who rolled through the first inning after striking out the first two batters of 2015, allowed a solo homer to Collins to lead off the second.
Arizona responded in its turn in the second. Mauga led off the frame with a solo homer to tie the game. Mercado singled and moved to second on Lauren Young's sacrifice bunt. Parks followed with a two run towering shot to center to give UA a 3-1 lead. After an Eva Watson walk and swipe of second, Chelsea Suitos, who had two hits in the game, singled her home to extend the Arizona lead. Fox then homered to center field to complete the six run inning.
The Wildcat offense was at it again in the third, with help from some suspect OSU defending. The Cowgirls committed three errors that led to two unearned runs in the inning. Mercado, Young and Parks got the inning going with RBI base hits before a pair of errors helped extend the frame. Hallie Wilson brought in a run with a double to straight away center field before Chelsea Goodacre scored her with a sacrifice fly to give the Cats a 12-1 lead.
Oklahoma State got back on the board in the fifth thanks to a pair of Wildcat errors. Maddie Holcomb grounded in Randee O'Donnell to cut Arizona's lead to 12-2.
The Cats and the Cowgirls are back at it on Saturday at 2 p.m. for game two of the series.