No. 3 Softball scores three runs in the seventh to top Portland State, 4-3
Third ranked Arizona State softball (16-0) needed a walk-off hit to escape Portland State, 4-3, Feb. 24. The teams played in unkind weather, with winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour.
Portland State (4-11) proved to be ASU's most resilient opponent of the season thus far, fighting for leads in two of the games in the series, including Sunday's. The Sun Devils scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to keep its 16-0 win streak alive. Jennifer Soria pinch hit for a walk-off that ended in a game-winning run by Cheyenne Coyle. Reliever Mackenzie Popescue picked up the win and improves to 7-0 overall.
ASU was off its game and working from behind, taking three innings to go through one rotation of the lineup. After four complete frames, neither team had moved a runner past second base.
Dallas Escobedo amassed eight strikeouts after five innings and allowed just two hits by that point. Portland State started its ace Anna Bertrand, who held her own in keeping the Sun Devils at bay until the fifth.
On a 2-2 count in the fifth, Sam Parlich homered to center and gave ASU the 1-0 edge. Portland State rallied back in the next stanza with back-to-back home runs by Becca Bliss and Alicia Fine. ASU fell behind 3-1 when the Vikings loaded the bases and proceeded to walk a run in, unearned. Popescue got the final putout of the inning - Escobedo exited the circle after 5.2 innings and nine strikeouts.
The sleeping giant awoke in the bottom of the seventh as the Sun Devils closed the gap, 3-2, with another leadoff home run by Parlich. Parlich has three long balls this year and 20 in her career which ties for 13th all-time. The 3-3 tie came thanks to Bailey Wigness scoring on a Coyle single to deep center.
Pinch hitter and freshman Jennifer Soria closed the books with a walk-off single to right that plated the winning run in Coyle. ASU got the victory 4-3, its second walk-off win of the weekend. Popescue was the pitcher of record, throwing 1.1 innings for her third win of the weekend.
Against Portland State, Elizabeth Caporuscio had a team-best eight hits (.667 batting average). Parlich broke out for eight RBI and a 1.200 slugging percentage in the last four games. Popescue recorded a 1.68 ERA against PSU with three wins in 8.1 innings.
The Sun Devils will play a lone game on Feb. 28 against North Dakota at 7 p.m. ASU will then host its third tournament, the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational starting on Friday, March 1. ASU games with live stats and radio links can be foundhere. The entire tournament schedule can be found here.
ASU's 16-0 start in 2013 ranks as one of the top for Clint Myers. The skipper owns the program's best start, 19-0 in 2006.
This is the third time Sam Parlich's career that she has hit two home runs in a game, the last against Louisiana on Feb. 25, 2012. Her 20 career home runs ranks 13th in ASU record books.
Mackenzie Popescue had three wins over the weekend and is 7-0 on the year, which ties her win record from 2012. She has 27 wins in her career.