By Kasey Kaler
OCT. 18 - ALUMNI GAME
For the second consecutive year, Sun Devil alumni took the field marred by the absence of a starting pitcher, but the combination of former star position players held the current Sun Devil squad to just nine runs.
Returning to Farrington Stadium to square off against the 2013-14 Sun Devils, the alumni team had representation from every decade of its existence. The alumni were led by two-time national champions Mandy Urfer, Lesley Rogers and Michelle Nulliner as well as 2011 national champions Annie Lockwood, Christina Zambrana, Lacy Goodman, Talor Haro. Also joining the team were Lynn Mooney, Kim Bickford, Stefanie Muscat, Karey James, Himmita Hixson and former player and graduate manager Brittney Matta amongst others.
Sun Devil alumni had former stars Mandy Urfer, Annie Lockwood, Talor Haro, and Kristen Miller take the circle to face off against current Sun Devils. However, it was Urfer and Hixon who ignited energy on the field throughout the affair.
While the alumni were admittedly overmatched at the plate, their defense was on display at key moments during the game.
After giving up three runs in the first inning to current Sun Devils, Urfer moved to shortstop with Women's College World Series hero Annie Lockwood entering the circle. To lead off the inning, Bailey Wigness chopped one into the ground, garnering a high bounce that required Urfer to jump it was snagged and she got the speedy Wigness out by a half a step at first.
Later in the game with the bases loaded, Jenn Soria came to plate and promptly lined a ball into the left-center gap, however Himmita Hixon made a spectacular leaping catch to put a close to the rally.
The game concluded with the current Sun Devils winning 9-3, led by an Alix Johnson two-run homer of former teammate Annie Lockwood. Dallas Escobedo, Mackenzie Popescue, Alexisi Cooper and Jenna Makis all pitched in the game, combining to allow 3 runs and 13 strikeouts.
The Sun Devils’ fall season continues this Wednesday, October 23 versus Central Arizona Community College. The game starts at 6 p.m. and admission is free.
OCT 16. – MESA COLLEGE
The Arizona State Sun Devil offense-prowess was again on display for fans on Wednesday night, as they hosted the Mesa Community College Thunderbirds for the third scrimmage of the fall season.
For a third consecutive game, the Sun Devils put up large offensive numbers, accumulating 32 hits and five more long balls.
Long innings were again the story as the Sun Devils sent 19 batters to the plate in the third inning. The inning began with two consecutive batters reach in front of Elizabeth Caporsucio who then hit her first homer of the fall, a three-run shot. After three consecutive walks then loaded the bases, Amber Freeman promptly cleared them with a grand slam, her third of the fall. Just four batters later, Caporuscio hit another three-run home run, giving the Devils three four-baggers in the inning.
Two innings later, in the bottom of the fifth, the Sun Devils put together another long inning, sending 16 to the plate. The inning was capped off by another grand slam, this time by Raianna Dobbs, who would hit a two-run homer later in the game.
After another offensive showing, the pitching again cruised through the night with Alexis Cooper starting in the circle, tossing three innings. Following Cooper was Mackenzie Popescue who pitched the next three innings, and allowed the lone run for the Thunderbirds.
Dallas Escobedo came on in the seventh inning, striking out five of the six batters she faced. In eight innings this fall, Escobedo has not allowed a hit while striking out 21 of the 23 batters faced. Jenna Makis closed out the games’ final two innings, garnering two strikeouts, giving the entire staff 13 strikeouts on the night.