April 9, 2010
WESTWOOD, Calif. – What began as a pitcher’s duel turned into a battle of the bats Friday night as the seventh-ranked ASU Softball team crushed three home runs, one a pinch-hit grand slam from Katie Crabb, to top #5 UCLA in Westwood in front of a capacity Bruin crowd. Hillary Bach took the win for ASU, going 16-2 on the year as ASU advances to 33-6 overall and 2-2 in Pac-10 play while UCLA falls to 27-7 and 1-3 in conference play.
Hillary Bach took to the circle for ASU with a 15-2 record hurling against righty Donna Kerr, who entered the game with a 13-3 record with both pitchers coming off losses last weekend to top-10 teams.
While the pitchers kept dancing circles around both the Sun Devil and Bruin batters through three complete innings, nothing can keep Pac-10 power-hitting quiet as they bats finally found some spark in the fourth inning. First up were the Sun Devils as they drew first blood with Kaylyn Castillo repeating her performance in Easton from the year before, launching a solo shot deep into the woods of left field for her third of the season.
UCLA didn’t take that lying down though as they answered the call in nearly the exact same fashion with Dani Yudin taking a 2-2 Bach pitch way over left center for a solo shot that tied the score and her home run total with Castillo at three on the season as well.
ASU didn’t come all the way to the land of the stars to not see their name in lights though as they exploded in the sixth inning, starting off with a walk to Krista Donnenwirth before Kaylyn Castillo pulled the same trick to put two on. Sam Parlich battled deep in the next at-bat, hitting a long ball deep to left that the left fielder just couldn’t handle for an error. With the bases loaded, Head Coach Clint Myers pulled an ace out of his sleeve, pinch-hitting Mandy Ufrfer for senior Katie Crabb. The move proved to be a perfect choice as Crabb pulled the count full before demolishing a ball deep to left center for a grand slam that brought all the pretty horses home.
The Sun Devils like to go big and then go home though as they weren’t done yet with the Bruins in the sixth as Ashley Muenz came up next to double to left field to give the Sun Devils more RISP-y business as Lesley Rogers pulled the count full only to knock an RBI single to center field to bring home yet another run as ASU pulled away from the pack with a 6-1 lead.
Never counting a great team out, the Bruins clawed right back into the game in the bottom of the inning as they posted three quick runs on ASU with a triple to right combined with a single and a home run, slicing ASU’s lead to the bone 6-4.
Ironically the softball gods seem to be smiling on the Devils though as ASU’s offense seemed to figure out Donna Kerr , knocking her out of the game in the seventh after a hit by pitch came home with Annie Lockwood’s 10th home run of the season, tying her for 17th all-time in ASU single-season history.
Hillary Bach came in for the complete game as ASU pulled off yet another double-play ball to help her out though UCLA’s power couldn’t be denied as they launched another solo shot to right field to inch closer 8-5. ASU finished the job though with a pop out to second as Hillary Bach collected her 16th win for a 16-2 record on the year.
Video highlights and interviews to come.
The Sun Devils will face-off with the Bruins yet again tomorrow as they take to the field at Easton Stadium at 6 p.m. in Westwood, Calif. under the lights of Hollywood.