Feb. 22, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - In 12 innings, Arizona State softball (13-0) began its four-game series against Portland State (4-8) with a marathon 6-5 win on Friday. The 1,049 fans in attendance for the 3 hour 45 minute victory witnessed ASU's longest game by innings since 2008.
Elizabeth Caporuscio went 4-for-4 at the plate, a career best, and added two walks. Dallas Escobedo went the distance for her ninth win of the year, tallying a career best 19 strikeouts in her longest outing as a Sun Devil. ASU picked up the win in the bottom of the 12th on a walk-off single by Lucy Aubrecht that scored pinch runner Abby Spiel.
The Sun Devils will honor the annual Strikeout Cancer games on Saturday, wearing pink jerseys. Sparky's Team Shop, located at the entrance of Farrington Stadium, will sell pink Sun Devil shirts throughout the weekend. Prices start at $18.
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After a quiet start, Caporuscio roped the game's first hit, a long ball to right in the bottom of the second. Haley Steele responded in the next at-bat with a homer of her own to bump ASU's lead to 2-0. The home runs were the second for each of the batters this year.
The Sun Devils continued to reach base in the second, eventually loading it after back-to-back walks that scored Aubrecht to allow for a 3-0 advantage.
Portland State closed the gap, 3-2, in the top of the third after Carly McEachran homered to left for a two-run bomb. Crysta Conn came around after reaching first on a double down the left field line.
For just the second time this season ASU's opponent held a brief lead. In the top of the fourth Dallas Escobedo gave up her second two-homer of the game, allowing the Vikings to go ahead 4-3.
ASU came close to scoring in the bottom of the frame when Bailey Wigness singled to short followed by an Alix Johnson single that saw both runners advance on a Viking miscue. The Sun Devils were unable to convert the base runners into runs, leaving both on base.
Pinch runner Kayla Ketchum tied the game 4-all in the fifth, running for Caporuscio who got her third hit of the game via a single through the right side. The run went unearned off another PSU error.
Play remained tied until the top of the ninth when Portland State regained the lead, 5-4, on its third home run, this time off the bat of Brittany Hendrickson. Sam Parlich tied it a second time for the Devils, 5-5 in the ninth - her sacrifice fly to left brought home Allie Butterfield.
As play moved into the 12th inning, both teams were unable to move a runner past second for two stanzas. Caporuscio led ASU off with her fourth single, then Haley Steele reached by way of walk, followed by Parlich moving everyone around on a bunt. Aubrecht closed the deal with a RBI-single shot to left that brought in Caporuscio's pinch runner Abby Spiel for the winning run, 6-5 (12).
Both pitchers remained in the game for the entirety of the contest. Escobedo is 9-0 with the win while Anna Bertrand took the loss despite pitching 11.0 innings with eight strikeouts.
The series continues with a doubleheader on Saturday starting at 4:30 p.m. Fans who wear pink will receive $5 admission in honor of the Strikeout Cancer event. ASU finishes the home stand with Portland State on Sunday at 12 p.m. MT.
Those who wear pink to the doubleheader Saturday receive $5 admission. Support Strikeout Cancer and your @thesundevils-- ASU Softball (@ASUSoftball) February 23, 2013
The longest game by innings prior to Friday's was a 13-inning victory at Stanford on March 30, 2008. ASU won the game 3-0. This is ASU's first extra-inning game in 2013.
ASU has 23 homers on the year (opponents have seven) and have home runs in 11 of 13 games. ASU has 10 multiple home run games thus far. They are currently on a five-game multiple homer streak dating back to Feb. 15 against Michigan State.
The Sun Devils have hit back-to-back home runs three time this year: Portland State (Feb. 22), Illinois State (Feb. 16) and Indiana (Feb. 8). A pretty consistent stat, considering it has happened once each weekend of the season.
Dallas Escobedo recorded her 70th win of her career during Friday's victory. This was Escobedo's fifth game this season with double-digit strikeouts (19).
Escobedo's complete game of 12.0 innings is the longest outing of her career - her previous was 8.0 innings which she had pitched on three occasions. Escobedo also beat her career high in strikeouts, 19 in the outing, her previous tally was 16 in seven innings against Virginia Tech on March 12, 2011.
Elizabeth Caporuscio moves up in the career records for home runs, now with 18 which is good to tie for 13th. She also rewrote her career best in hits in a game, roping three singles and one home run in six at-bats.