No. 1 softball dazzles in WCWS opener to down Oklahoma
The marquee game proved it's worth Thursday night as a pitching duel broke out with the No. 1 ASU Sun Devil Softball Team proving their worth, edging No. 9 Oklahoma 3-1 in front a standing-room only sold crowd at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium. Dallas Escobedo struck out six en route to a 33-3 record while leading the Sun Devils to their current 56-6 status. Oklahoma's Keilani Ricketts took the loss to fall to 29-14 on the year and drop OU to 41-18.
The bats were silenced by the cannons of Escobedo and Ricketts until the fourth inning when the sneaky Sun Devils drew first blood after a walk and hit by pitch started the inning off. OU ended up paying dearly for the miscues as Mandy Urfer laced a single up the middle to plate pinch runners Kayla Ketchum and Bailey Wigness to break the stalemate 2-0.
OU started a bit of a rally with some two-out lighting in the fifth though as a single was brought around by a Haley Nix double to right center to cut the lead in half 2-1. That was all Dallas Jade Escobedo was going to allot to the Sooners as she stepped up to shutdown the powerful bats.
With the Sun Devil D dazzling in the field behind Escobedo, Katelyn Boyd decided to add on insurance run on in the fifth inning as she lead off with a solo shot to left center for her first career hit in the WCWS and her 18th of the year, tying her for second in ASU single-season records.
The Sun Devils will now face the winner of No. 4 Florida and No. 5 Missouri tomorrow at 8:30 p.m. at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. The game will be aired live on ESPN with Jessica Mendoza and Beth Mowins calling the action.