SEATTLE, Wash. -- In a pair of games that were not decided until the seventh inning or later, the No. 6/5 Arizona State University softball team split its doubleheader against No. 11/11 Washington on Friday in Seattle, Wash. ASU took game one, 3-1, before falling in 10 innings on a walk-off home run in a 3-2 loss.
The Sun Devils are now 39-7 on the season and 13-4 in Pac-12 action while Washington moved to 25-12 and 5-8 in the Pac-12. Dallas Escobedo picked up the win in game one and took the loss in game two to move to 19-6 on the year.
Arizona State returns to action for the rubber match against the Huskies tomorrow at 11 a.m. PT. The Pac-12 Networks will not broadcast the game.
Recaps of each of today’s games can be found below.
Game 1 – ASU 3, Washington 1
For six innings of the first game of a Friday doubleheader, an overcast sky hovered over Seattle and over the Sun Devils bat as ASU could not muster a single hit or base runner in that time and Washington’s Kaitlin Inglesby was looking for a perfect game with a 1-0 lead behind her.
But as Alix Johnson stepped up to bat in the top of the seventh, the sun poked out and the Sun Devils lived up to their moniker.
Johnson drew her Pac-12 leading 45th walk of the season to end the bid for a perfect game and Amber Freeman came up two batters later and ended the no-hitter with a bomb to dead center to give ASU a 2-1 lead.
Haley Steele made it back-to-back jacks on the very next batter and Dallas Escobedo did the rest as ASU pulled off the come-from-behind victory that seemed improbable 15 minutes earlier.
Escobedo was, well, Dallas Escobedo. The senior pitcher tossed 11 strikeouts, giving up just five hits and a walk with her only blemish coming on the solo home run to Inglesby. She struck out the final two batters in the bottom of the seventh to close the door and pick up her 20th victory of the season.
Inglesby was a one-woman show for the Huskies as she went six inning with seven strikeouts and put down 18 consecutive Sun Devil batters. As if that weren’t enough, with Escobedo dealing quite well for the ASU in the opposite circle, Inglesby went ahead and provided all the UW offense for the game with a solo shot to left in the bottom of the fourth inning.
That looked like it may be enough, but for the fifth time in the last six games, the Sun Devils came from behind after trailing in the fifth, sixth or top of the seventh inning to take the victory.
Game 2 – Washington 3, ASU 2 (10)
While the bats finally came alive in the second game of the doubleheader, ASU’s ability to pick up critical hits did not as the Sun Devils stranded a season-high 15 batters in a 3-2 loss in 10 innings despite posting 14 hits in the game.
Hooch Fagaly took the first pitch she saw in the bottom of the 10th inning over the fence in left field to give the Huskies the walkoff victory and a split of the doubleheader.
Haley Steele set a career high with four hits in the game and helping ASU get on board first in the top of the second when she scored on a Nikki Girard RBI single to give ASU an early 1-0 lead.
The Sun Devils would load the bases in that inning with just one out but back-to-back strikeouts would end the threat.
ASU would reload the bases in the top of the third with two outs, but another strikeout ended that threat as well.
Washington would even things at one in the fourth as they, too, loaded the bases with just one out. Inglesby would score her second run of the day on an infield grounder that took away the force out at home and forced Cheyenne Coyle to throw Whitney Jones out in the first.
Mackenzie Popescue would get out of the inning without any further damage and ASU escaped with the game tied at one.
The toughest pill to swallow came in the top of the fifth inning as a Cheyenne Coyle leadoff walk and back-to-back singles by Amber Freeman and Steele loaded the bases with no outs.
But the Sun Devils couldn’t get it done, with back-to-back strikes and a pop out ending the threat and keeping things netted at one.
Washington threated in the bottom half of the inning as they loaded the bases after Fagaly singled following a Sun Devil infield error on what should have been a double play. That would lead to Popescue being bulled and Dallas Escobedo entering the game.
Escobedo struck out the next three batters she faced in order to eliminate the threat and keep the Sun Devils alive
ASU finally brought one across in the top of the seventh as Bethany Kemp scored from first on a two-out RBI double by Girard for her second RBI of the game that was about seven inches shy of clearing the fence in left field.
Holding on to a 2-1 lead in the bottom half of the inning, Kelly Suguro singled to open the inning. Escobedo put down the next two batters but gave up a walk to Inglesby that set up a Kylee Lahners single down the left field line to even things at two.
After nothng doing in the eight inning, Haley Steele advanced to second with just one out in the top of the ninth on a Elizabeth Caporuscio single, but again, ASU could not get the clutch hit it needed as the next two batters went down in order.
Escobedo gave up a leadoff double in the bottom half of the inning, but took care of the next three batters to keep things going.
In the 10, Jenn Soria would open with a leadoff single and make it all the way to third base with two outs but an infield popup from Coyle ended the inning, setting up Hooch’s walk-off bomb in the bottom half of the inning.
Escobedo finished the game with eight strikeouts in 4.0 innings pitched with two walks and four hits. Popescue finished with five innings pitched, giving up two hits with five strikeouts and five walks.