TEMPE -- Facing its first ranked opponent of the season, the Arizona State University softball team dominated the 11th-ranked Oklahoma Sooners on Friday before taking care of business against Southern Illinois-Edwardsville in the nightcap to improve to 9-0 following a day of action at the Littlewood Classic in Tempe.
Dallas Escobedo (4-0) pitched a one-hit clinic against the Sooners that came one out shy of a no-hitter in a 7-0 shutout while Mackenize Popescue did her thing against the Cougars of SIUE in a 5-2 victory.
The Sun Devils will conclude the 10th annual Littlewood Classic with another doubleheader on Saturday. They will face Illinois State at 1:30 p.m. MT and San Jose State at 3:45 p.m. MT.
Recaps of today's action can be found below.
By Miranda Perez, ASU Media Relations
#5 ASU 7, #11 Oklahoma 0
The No. 5 Arizona State University softball team and senior pitcher Dallas Escobedo dominated the No. 11 Oklahoma Sooners in a 7-0 win at Farrington Stadium on Friday night.
Escobedo came within one out of throwing a no-hitter before giving up an infield single in the top of the seventh inning. She struck out 12 Sooners in seven innings.
Haley Steele started things off for the Sun Devils in the bottom of the second when she hit a solo home run to left field, giving the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead. It was Steele’s third consecutive game with a home run.
In the bottom of the fourth inning, Elizabeth Caporuscio singled up the middle, scoring Steele and Alix Johnson. Caporuscio extended her hit streak to seven games.
Later in the inning, freshman Chelsea Gonzales hit her first home run of the season with a two-run bomb to left field, scoring Caporuscio and giving ASU a 5-0 lead.
Escobedo retired 14 batters in a row to begin the game before second baseman Nikki Girard dropped an infield blooper in the fifth inning, disrupting the senior pitcher’s perfect game up until that point.
The Sun Devil lineup scored two more runs in the bottom of the fifth inning after an Amber Freeman RBI single and a wild pitch that scored Allie Butterfield.
After a scoreless sixth inning, Escobedo headed to the mound with her no-hitter still in tact.
With two outs, Oklahoma’s Shelby Pendley hit a hard grounder to the 5-6 hole. Shortstop Cheyenne Coyle backhanded the ball and threw it to first, but it was not in time as Pendley reached first base safely for an infield single.
Escobedo struck out the next batter for the final out, giving the Sun Devils a 7-0 victory and stretching her record to 4-0 on the season.
The Sun Devils are 8-0 on the season heading into the second game of the doubleheader. Mackenzie Popescue (4-0) is set to start the second game.
#5 ASU 5, SIUE 3
TEMPE – The No. 5 Arizona State University softball team defeated Southern Illinois Edwardsville University 5-2 in the second game of the doubleheader on Friday.
Mackenzie Popescue started the game following Dallas Escobedo’s one-hit performance and picked up her fifth win of the season.
In seven innings of work, Popescue allowed her first two earned runs of the season on only two hits and one walk. She also struck out seven Cougars on the night.
Popescue credited her success to her team and her ability to take one pitch at a time.
“I’ve got a great defense and a great offense. I’ve got the greatest team behind me, so as long as I take it one pitch a time, I know they have my back,” the senior pitcher said.
On the offensive side of things, the Sun Devils scored five runs on six hits and seven walks.
In the bottom of the third inning, Alix Johnson doubled in Cheyenne Coyle. Then, Amber Freeman singled up the middle, scoring Johnson and giving ASU a 3-0 lead.
Popescue allowed SIEU’s two runs in the top of the fourth inning, but junior Bethany Kemp answered back in the bottom half of the inning with a 2-run home run with Freeman on base. It was Kemp’s third home run of the season.
Kemp said, “She was jamming me all day, so I was kind of expecting a pitch inside. I just went in there looking for a good pitch to hit.”
Kemp’s home run put the Devils up 5-2, which ended up being the final score after a scoreless sixth and seventh innings.
Popescue is now 5-0 on the season, and ASU remains undefeated with a 9-0 record.