March 23, 2013
Sunday 12 p.m. Live Stats
LOS ANGELES - Arizona State softball (30-3, 1-1 Pac-12) evened the three-game series, one win apiece, at UCLA (24-5, 1-1 Pac-12) with a 10-3 victory on Saturday. The Sun Devils will vie to capture their first conference series on Sunday at Noon.
Mackenzie Popescue picked up her first win of the season over a ranked opponent, going the distance with five strikeouts to improve to 14-0. UCLA traded aces in the circle between Ally Carda and Jessica Hall but it was Carda who received the loss, falling to 15-3.
After two full innings of scoreless play, it was Arizona State that got the first lead, 4-0 on four hits in the third. Alix Johnson led off with an infield single and proceeded to steal second then third. She scored the first run of the contest on a single through the left side by Haley Steele.
Elizabeth Caporuscio plated Cheyenne Coyle and Nikki Girard followed to bring in Steele in the next at-bat. Making it a 4-0 edge, Lucy Aubrecht doubled to left center to plate Girard before the end of the third.
UCLA broke up Popescue's no-hitter in the bottom of the third when Stephany LaRosa singled in Gracie Goulder, 4-1.
Amber Freeman put ASU up 7-1 in the fourth with her ninth homer of the season and 21st of her career. Freeman's three-run bomb brought in Coyle and Johnson on the hit. One frame later, pinch runner Allie Butterfield scored, 8-1, on a wild pitch - she entered the game for Aubrecht who reached by way of walk.
In the sixth, ASU loaded the bases on walk, single, walk with no outs. Girard scored pinch runner Kayla Ketchum with a sacrifice fly to right for the Devils' ninth run. Sam Parlich plated in what marked the mercy rule run, 10-1 on her third single of the game, a shot to center that brought around Steele.
The Bruins closed the gap on ASU's lead with a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth, staving off the mercy-rule. The Devils still held on to their 10-3 advantage in the seventh for the first Pac-12 victory of the season.
The Sun Devils close the first Pac-12 opening road swing at 12 p.m. PT Sunday.
Amber Freeman's home run is her ninth of the season and 21st in her career.
Saturday's win against UCLA is Mackenzie Popescue's first win against a ranked team in 2013.
ASU is 2-3 against ranked teams in 2013.
Issued by the Pac-12 office, the May 11 game against Oregon will be at 5 p.m. now on the Pac-12 Network.
Softball has the stats on their side, they only lost one Pac-12 series last year - 2-1 to Conference Champion California. ASU has won the last three series matchups against UCLA, the last time falling to the Bruins being 2009.