April 21, 2013Follow @ASUSoftball
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah -The Arizona State softball squad (39-7, 10-5 Pac-12) lost its first Pac-12 Conference series of the season with a 6-5 loss to Utah (21-24-1, 6-12 Pac-12) in game one of a twin-bill on Sunday. Sam Parlich saved the Sun Devils from a series sweep with a three-run homer in the top of the seventh to secure the 6-4 win in the finale.
Working with two losses heading into the series finale, a final hit from Sam Parlich proved all ASU needed to keep the sweep at bay. Parlich hit a three-run shot in the top of the seventh for what would be a 6-4 victory on a 2-1 weekend.
GAME ONE: UTAH 6, ASU 5
Reminiscent of Friday's game, Utah got run support in the opening frame. Scoring four runs on four hits, the Utes began by loading the bases after a walk and consecutive singles. A single, groundout and single brought in the bunch of runs for Utah.
Arizona State was quick to respond, cutting the deficit to 4-2 in the top of the second via a pinch-hit two-RBI single by Jennifer Soria. Utah inched its lead ahead once again, 5-2, in the second with an RBI single. With yet another single bringing in a run, the Sun Devils pulled starter Mackenzie Popescue in lieu of Dallas Escobedo - she inherited one base runner and a 6-2 score.
Bethany Kemp made it 6-3 in the third after crossing home on a Utah infield fielding error. Kemp reached with a single up the middle. In the fourth, Cheyenne Coyle smacked her 15th homer of the year, going yard to put the game within reach at 6-4.
Despite Utah scoring big and early on, the Sun Devils were persistent at chipping away at the lead and had four-straight innings of bringing in at least one runner. To make it 6-5 in the fifth, Elizabeth Caporuscio hit a sacrifice fly to score Haley Steele - she reached via walk and took her free ride to second on a passed ball and rounded to third on a ground out.
ASU's momentum was halted in the sixth and seventh frames and the Devils eventually fell to the Utes 6-5 with the tying run on third, the first Pac-12 series loss of the season. Popescue (16-3) gets the loss after leaving the game with six runs to her name in 1.2 innings worked. Escobedo struck out eight in 4.1 innings. Kayce Nieto picked up the win for Utah in five innings worked while Mariah Ramirez closed out the game.
GAME TWO: ASU 6, Utah 4
Four complete innings of scoreless ball ensued in what would be a pitcher dual in the series finale. Bethany Kemp got the first RBI in the fifth after a single through the right side to score Amber Freeman from second base.
Utah followed up by taking a 3-1 lead in the bottom of the frame, getting to a hot start with back-to-back doubles to make it 1-1. An ASU fielding error allowed one run to score from third, unearned and then made it 3-1 on the third double of the stanza.
Alix Johnson was clutch in the top of the sixth with a two-out, two-run homer to tie it 3-3. Not to be outdone, Utah regained the lead 4-3 on a leadoff Kristen Stewart home run to center in the bottom of the inning. Sam Parlich got the third homer of the game, a three-run shot that put Arizona State ahead 6-4 in the final inning for what would be the deciding hit.
Dallas Escobedo earned the only ASU win of the weekend, giving her a 22-4 record.
Parlich secures our 6-4 win over Utah to keep Utes from sweeping thesundevils.com/sports/w-softb... Next up is Cal April 26-28, 3 games on TV-- ASU Softball (@ASUSoftball) April 21, 2013
Sun Devil softball returns to host California April 26-28 in Tempe, with all three games on TV. Friday's game is the annual Gold Game and will be on ESPNU at 7 p.m. PT. Saturday's game at 7 p.m. PT will be on Pac-12 Network and the series will conclude on the conference network with a 3 p.m. PT first pitch.
Cheyenne Coyle's home run in the first game on Sunday is her 15th home run of the season, a team best. She ties for 10th in single-season homers at ASU with her 15 in 2013.
Alix Johnson's homer in game two is her ninth of the season. She has 27 career homers, good for 15th all-time at ASU.
Sam Parlich's home run is her 23rd of her career and ninth of the season. She is 20th all-time at ASU in homers.
The series loss is the first since Cal beat ASU 2-1 in Berkeley May of 2012, garnering the Pac-12 title in the process on the last weekend of regular-season play.
Head coach Clint Myers has 38 conference series' captured since he joined ASU in 2006. In that time he has only dropped 15 series' (.717) including this weekend's against Utah.
Myers is 107-58 in Pac-12 Conference games since 2006. Overall, including postseason matchups against conference foe, he is 113-58.
Remaining Softball TV Schedule
April 26 vs. California 7 p.m. PT ESPNU (Gold Game, wear gold)
April 27 vs. California 7 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network
April 28 vs. California 3 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network
May 3 at Arizona 6 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network
May 4 at Arizona 6 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network
May 5 at Arizona 3 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network
May 10 vs. Oregon 5 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network
May 11 vs. Oregon 5 p.m. PT Pac-12 Network