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Sport Janelle Meoño stepping up for Arizona softball as Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza recovers from knee injury

02:25  23 april  2021
02:25  23 april  2021 Source:   sbnation.com

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Alyssa Palomino - Cardoza has had tough luck with injuries throughout her career, but she was able to avoid catastrophe this time. The All-American center fielder suffered no structural damage in her right knee and is considered week to week as Arizona softball continues their season Friday at home vs Palomino - Cardoza immediately fell to the dirt after stepping on first base and had to be helped off the field by trainers. She was moving around with a heavy limp the rest of the weekend and sometimes used crutches. A sixth-year senior, APC tore her right ACL in 2016 and left ACL in 2017, so there was

Palomino - Cardoza was injured during the Wildcats’ series opener against Arizona State; while attempting to beat out an infield ground ball , Palomino - Cardoza appeared to step and land awkwardly. She was later helped off the field. On Tuesday, Arizona softball released the following statement via Twitter The news is especially noteworthy due to Palomino - Cardoza ’s history of leg injuries . She tore her right ACL and missed the 2016 season, then tore her left ACL late in the 2017 season. Following Palomino - Cardoza ’s injury , Janelle Meono took over duties in center field for the

The plan was always for Janelle Meoño to succeed Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza in center field, but not like this.

a baseball player standing on top of a dirt field © Photo by Ryan Kelapire

The redshirt freshman was thrust into action in Tempe last weekend after Palomino-Cardoza suffered a knee injury in Friday’s series-opening loss to ASU. The Wildcats learned Tuesday that the sixth-year senior didn’t sustain any structural damage, and they can rest easy knowing they have a capable replacement until she is ready to return to the lineup.

Meoño, who had been starting in left field, was one of the bright spots for Arizona in an otherwise forgettable series loss against the Sun Devils. She had five hits, two doubles, two walks and two RBI.

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Arizona 's Alyssa Palomino - Cardoza reached base in 12 of her 15 plate appearances in a series sweep over Oregon State, earning Pac-12 Player of the Week honors for the second time in 2021. Palomino - Cardoza able to beat it out. Meono advances to the third while Bella Dayton does score.

Pac-12 Networks' Anne Marie Anderson and Amanda Freed catch up with Arizona center fielder Alyssa Palomino - Cardoza following the Wildcats' 12-0 victory over

She also made the most impressive defensive play of the weekend, robbing a homer to keep the Wildcats within in a run in the sixth inning of Sunday’s loss—what proved to be a critical run saved when, a half inning later, Dejah Mulipola ripped a game-tying RBI double.

“Right now I just can’t let the game get too big, play that same game that I’ve been playing all my life, and I feel comfortable with where I’m at,” Meoño said. “And until Alyssa gets back I’m gonna do my best out there and I just feel really good with how I’ve been in the outfield and in the box as well.”

A speedy slapper, Meoño leads the Pac-12 with a .452 batting average and is currently riding a 21-game hitting streak heading into this weekend’s home series vs. Utah. She has been a consistent force all season, but now she has more pressure on her as the leader of the outfield. Not the easiest task for a quiet underclassmen.

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Arizona 's Alyssa Palomino - Cardoza speaks with Pac-12 Networks' Mike Yam on Pac-12 Playlist following the Wildcats' Palomino _ Cardoza went 2-for-3 and had two RBIs to help the Wildcats defeat the Rebels on Friday. Yahoo Sports. The Rush: Packers crush the COVID and injury -plagued 49ers.

Palomino - Cardoza sees it as a great opportunity to show the freshmen the ropes like Katiyana Mauga and Mo Mercado did when she was entering the program. “We only hope that we can lead this freshman class and have that same culture and that same family-like process to where they The way Candrea described it in earlier this offseason, the starters in the corner outfield spots will be determined by whoever has the hot bat. The four players in the running are redshirt freshman Bella Dayton, redshirt junior Peanut Martinez, redshirt freshman Janelle Meoño and freshman Jasmine

“She covers a lot of ground, she’s fast and so I really wasn’t concerned about that move at all,” head coach Mike Candrea said. “But there’s some elements of Palomino that you can’t replace and I’m looking forward to her getting back on the field and hopefully get her back to work so she can start playing the game at a high level again.”

The Wildcats are taking things one week at a time with Palomino-Cardoza, who was hitting .323 with six homers before the injury. It’s unclear when the All-American might return to the lineup but everyone is relieved that her career isn’t over.

She’s already torn both ACLs at Arizona and the prospect of her missing the end of her final season with another knee injury was gut-wrenching.

“Obviously with her past history, you kind of expect the worst and I was feeling a little bit better about her when I saw her walking the next day,” Candrea said. “I figured if it was a break or something that that wouldn’t be happening. And then I was just on pins and needles until we got her back to Tucson and got her checked out. And once I got the news that it was a bruise, right now we’re just trying to get her range of motion back and she’ll have a chance to play again, so that’s exciting news for us—and for her. ... I thank the Good Lord that everything turned out all right.

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“I mean, it was kind of out of our control and for a kid like her that’s gone through so much, she’s got such a big heart and such a good player but has just really had a tough time and has had to battle through some really crucial injuries that can sometimes change the way you can play the game. She just continues to do the body of work she needs to come back and I’m happy for her that this wasn’t an ending. ... I don’t think I’ve ever had an athlete go through as much as she has to be able to be on the softball field and she’s got a definitely a place in my heart for the rest of my life because there’s not many athletes that have gone through what she has to represent this university and this athletic program.”

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Second baseman Reyna Carranco and new center fielder Janelle Meoño met with the media Wednesday ahead of Arizona Softball's series vs. Utah

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