Bach and Carlson lead softball past LIU in Amherst Regional
Three perfect innings from Hillary Bach and a three run home run from Caylyn Carlson sent a message Sunday afternoon as the No. 13 ASU Softball team topped the LIU Blackbirds 9-1 (5) to close out the Amherst Regional and advance to the program’s fifth consecutive Super Regional. Bach improved to 25-7 on the year while ASU moves to 44-15 overall and 3-0 in postseason play.
Headed to the circle for the Sun Devils was none other than the effervescent Hillary Bach who graced the mound with a 24-7 record on the year and going head-to-head with LIU ace Blaire Porter holding with a 29-8 record to start.
While ASU’s offense started the weekend sluggish they wasted no time on Sunday afternoon coming out to play right out of the gate putting four hits on the board and three runs to chase LIU’s starting pitcher from the game and take the 3-0 lead.
While the vicious LIU line-up looming in front of the pitching staff, Bach decided to keep it strictly platonic with the Blackbirds keeping them at a distance from the base paths with three and two-thirds of a perfect game.
The offense got back at it in the third as Kaylyn Castillo continued her banner 4-for-4 day with a lead-off single which Krista Donnenwirth followed with the same before Caylyn Carlson in her first start of the postseason crushed a three run home run to left field to make it 7-0 with a tip of the cap to ASU.
LIU’s pulse rate blipped a bit in the fourth inning though as they finally put runners on base with three singles to bring home a run and cut the lead to 7-1. But ASU wasn’t going to let this one go any longer as they rallied back to put two more on the board in the fifth with a wild pitch bringing in Caylyn Carlson and an RBI from Kaylyn Castillo to put the nail in the coffin.
The Sun Devils will now travel to Gainsville, Fla. where they’ll face the fourth-seeded Florida Gators in their home stadium in the battle for Oklahoma City next weekend. All games will be aired on the ESPN family of networks.