March 29, 2013
Saturday 2 p.m. | Live Stats | Blaze Radio *TV game on Pac-12 Network
TEMPE, Ariz. - Using three innings of perfect pitching by Mackenzie Popescue and a walk-off grand slam by Cheyenne Coyle, Arizona State softball tallied its fourth win of Pac-12 play, 5-1 over Oregon State. Sun Devil fans packed the stadium Friday night; the 2,142 in attendance marked the first sellout game of the season.
A tie 1-1 ballgame poised Cheyenne Coyle for a heroic at-bat in the bottom of the seventh. Coyle rose to the occasion and hit her second grand slam this year for the walk-off 5-1 victory.
The Sun Devils improve to 33-3 overall and 4-1 in Pac-12 action. Ace Mackenzie Popescue is now 15-0 overall, which was 18th nationally prior to the start of this series. Oregon State's relief pitcher Amanda Najdek drops to 1-1 while the team falls to 23-8 and 0-2 in Pac-12 with the loss.
Popescue, who has solidified herself in the circle this season, pitched three innings of perfect ball to start the contest. It wasn't until the fourth that the Beavers were able to get a runner on base. It was slow moving on the Devil offensive side as well, taking three innings to go through an entire rotation of the lineup.
OSU's starter Tina Andreana was pitching an elusive game as well, a one-hitter until the third when Alix Johnson rocketed one to left center, pushing herself and one runner to third and second, respectively, on a Beaver fielding error. Wigness scored, unearned, during Cheyenne Coyle's at-bat for a 1-0 ASU lead.
Tying it at 1-1 in the fourth, Oregon State capitalized on a throwing error by Arizona State as lead-off hitter Dani Gilmore scurried home from second base.
After three frames each of scoreless play, it was down to Arizona State to make something happen in the 1-1 tie at the bottom of the seventh. Lucy Aubrecht led ASU off with a double to left center and was followed by Sam Parlich with a single through the left side.
Quick changes in the circle for OSU saw Amanda Najdek leave the game after one batter in the seventh in lieu of Marina Demore. With ASU loading the bases on a base on balls to Bethany Kemp, Najdek became the pitcher of record as the go-ahead run represented in Aubrecht sat at third base.
Coyle cleaned up on a 1-0 count with a walk-off grand slam to ensure the 5-1 ASU victory. It's the junior transfer's second grand slam of the season and bumps her home run total to a team-best 11 on the year.
The series finale will be at 2 p.m. on Saturday, broadcasted live on the Pac-12 Network as ASU's softball first TV game of the season of any kind. Updated softball TV schedule here. Complete season schedule here.
The entire series will have live stats, updates via Twitter @ASUSoftball and streamed audio by Blaze Radio. Saturday's 2 p.m. game will be the first ASU softball game to be broadcasted on the Pac-12 Network.
Food Drive: Food drive benefitting, Tempe Community Action Agency, TCAA. ASU softball's goal is to donate 500 pounds of canned food over the weekend to give to Tempe families in need.
Saturday: The first 250 fans to Farrington will receive one of the collectible All-American posters. This week is junior pitcher Dallas Escobedo. Autographs will be signed by the entire team following the game.
Cheyenne Coyle's grand slam was her second of the season - her first Feb. 16 vs. Illinois Chicago.
The last time ASU hit a grand slam was Girard's on Feb. 28 vs. North Dakota.
ASU leads Oregon State 74-29 dating back to 1977. ASU has won the last three meetings dating back to April 10, 2012.
The attendance of 2,142 is the largest crowd of the season and the first official sellout at Farrington Stadium in 2013.