Feb. 23, 2013
TEMPE, Ariz. - Blowout innings helped Arizona State softball (15-0) to a 19-2 routing of Portland State (4-10) in five innings in Saturday's first game. In the nightcap, the Sun Devils mercy ruled the Vikings again in five frames, 9-0. The four-game series will come to a close with a 12 p.m. game on Sunday.
Mackenzie Popescue is 6-0 after two wins on Saturday night. She fanned four in the first game and one in game two's shutout. Sam Parlich was tops on the squad in game one, going 3-for-3 at the plate and recorded a season-best four RBI. Both Lucy Aubrecht and Elizabeth Caporuscio went 2-for-3 at the dish in the night cap.
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GAME ONE: ASU 19, Portland State 2 (5)
The Sun Devils were patient in the first as a rocky start by Portland State loaded the bases on three-straight walks. A walk to Haley Steele scored leadoff batter Alix Johnson and gave ASU the 1-0 lead with just one out. The Vikings then pulled starter Raya Johnson from the circle in lieu of Melissa Masters. The Sun Devils were already on their way to capitalizing on their base runners however, using three hits to bring home six runs in the inning.
Portland State received its first run also on a bases loaded walk. The Vikings made it 6-1 in the second and broke up ASU's Mackenzie Popescue's shutout in the process.
ASU stretched is lead to 10-1 on four runs in the second. Amber Freeman walked her way home on a PSU illegal pitch for the first of four runs in the frame. Sam Parlich brought home Haley Steele and Lucy Aubrecht on a hard single up the middle, 9-1. Pinch hitter Danielle Muniz singled home Nikki Girard before the final out.
Runs continued to light the scoreboard as PSU's Alexa Morales scampered home in the third, 10-2, on a single by Lauran Bliss that ricocheted off first base.
Clint Myers flexed his depth by referring to five pinch hitters in the bottom of the third. The alternates were successful in bringing one run around, with four reaching base. In the fourth ASU once again called to its bench, pinch hitting for four and scoring eight runs for what would eventually be a final score of 19-2 after holding off PSU in the top of the fifth.
Jenna Makis made her collegiate debut on the rubber during the fourth inning. She pitched effectively for two innings and struck out one. Popescue earned her fifth win of the season in three innings worked. PSU burned through three pitchers in the game but it would be Johnson who received the loss after 1.2 innings, dropping her to 1-2 on the year.
GAME TWO: ASU 9, Portland State 0 (5)
For the 14th time this year ASU was first to score. Cheyenne Coyle got things started in the first inning, homering to left and scoring Alix Johnson for her seventh home run of the year. It was 3-0 after Aubrecht hit a RBI single to center, plating Elizabeth Caporuscio.
Arizona State reached the minimum for a mercy rule in the bottom of the second, scoring six runs for a commanding 9-0 grasp on the game. Freeman brought in two of those runs on a double to right center that expanded to a third run crossing home on a PSU error during the same play.
Freeman later scored on a Caporuscio single to left center to make it 7-0. Aubrecht's second RBI of the game brought home Caporuscio and was followed two batters later with a sacrifice fly by Sam Parlich to bring in Steele.
Popescue picked up her second win on the day, sixth of the year, after 4.0 innings in the combined shutout. Alexis Cooper closed the final inning and also had one strikeout. Karyn Wright moves to 1-3 after her rough one-inning start for Portland State.
ASU finishes the home stand with Portland State on Sunday at 12 p.m. MT. The voice of ASU softball, Blaze Radio, will be on the call online here, and will provide a postgame interview with one of your Sun Devils!
Sun Devils hitting .402 compared to PSU's .220 through three games. ASU Pitching staff has 26 strikeouts!— ASU Softball (@ASUSoftball) February 24, 2013
Former Sun Devil student-athlete and a 1990 graduate with a degree in sports psychology, Stephanie Muscat (May) threw out the first pitch of the doubleheader. A cancer survivor, Muscat amassed 64 home runs, 134 hits and 27 RBI in her career.
With both wins Saturday, ASU has six mercy rule victories on the year.
Amber Freeman is on a nine game hitting streak, dating back to Feb. 10 against Boise State.
The 19-2 (5) win is the highest scoring game for ASU since it beat Rutgers 19-0 (5) on Feb. 19, 2010.