Taylor McQuillin struck out 16 batters, but the Arizona softball team still fell 4-1 to South Florida in their home opener Friday night in the Hillenbrand Invitational.
UA took out some frustration in the second game of the day, blasting Illinois-Chicago 10-1 in a mercy-rule win.
Arizona was supposed to play its first home game at the renovated Hillenbrand Stadium on Thursday night, but inclement weather canceled the contest against New Mexico.
Jessie Harper accounted for UA’s only run against USF with a solo homer in the bottom of the sixth.
USF (2-5) did all of its damage in the top of the sixth, scoring four unearned runs as the Wildcats committed two errors in the inning.
McQuillin (1-2) allowed five hits and two walks in the loss.
Against Illinois-Chicago, UA scored eight times in the first inning to improve to 4-3 on the season. Harper and Malia Martinez both homered in the rout.
Harper's second homer of the doubleheader was her fourth of the season — tied for first in the Pac-12 — and the 41st of her Wildcats career, good for a tie in 18th among all-time UA hitters.
Alyssa Denham (2-1) earned the win after pitching three innings and striking out four. Freshman Marissa Schuld of Pinnacle High School made her collegiate debut in relief and struck out four in two hitless innings.
UA plays No. 7 Alabama at 3:45 p.m., and New Mexico at 6 p.m. in a Saturday doubleheader.