Mariah Lopez and two other Oklahoma softball players entered the NCAA transfer portal on Monday. Lopez decided on Tuesday she will transfer to Arizona.
In her junior season, Lopez went 19-1 and led in the circle with a 1.25 ERA. Through three seasons, Lopez leaves the program as OU’s career leader in winning percentage (.962;51-2).
"I'm excited to welcome Mariah to the Wildcat family," Arizona coach Mike Candrea said in a press release. "She's a great fit on our team and will make an excellent addition to our already accomplished pitching staff. She brings Women's College World Series experience and comes to Arizona with already decorated collegiate career.
Lopez and Giselle “G” Juarez were the Sooners' top two pitchers, although coach Patty Gasso relied heavily on Juarez during the postseason. Juarez transferred to Oklahoma from Arizona State in January and led the Sooners to the championship series at the Women’s College World Series.
Lopez, a Saugus, California, native, will join an Arizona pitching staff that finished sixth in the NCAA with a 1.61 ERA in Taryne Mowatt’s second season as pitching coach.
Lopez will possibly fill the role as Arizona’s ace after the Wildcats graduated Taylor McQuillin.
McQuillin finished her career at Arizona with a 24-8 record in 35 games played (30 started) and helped get the Wildcats back to the WCWS for the first time since 2010. The graduate posted a 1.52 ERA over 207 innings.
Alyssa Denham backed up McQuillin in the circle, especially during the conference schedule. Denham finished her junior season 11-6 with a 1.94 ERA over 108.1 innings.
Lopez will join Denham and three other returning pitchers, along with four All-Americans and six all-Pac-12 players from a 48-14 team that advanced to the program's 23rd WCWS.
“She played with many of our current players in travel ball and has worked with Susie Parra, so there's a level of familiarity that you don't often get with transfers,” Candrea said. “I'm very excited to add Mariah and the incoming freshmen to our great group of returners and can't wait to see this team compete in 2020."