Softball holds off Pacific, 5-4, in extras
Arizona State softball held on for a 5-4 win in eight innings against Pacific to close out the Judi Garman Classic March 16. The Sun Devils improve to 29-2 and will begin Pac-12 action on the road March 22 at UCLA.
With a 1-1 tie in the second, Arizona State used three runs in the fourth inning to move ahead of Pacific (15-13). The Tigers notched one run in the bottom of the sixth and tied it 4-4 in the bottom of the seventh with two outs. Bethany Kemp scored the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth for ASU's 5-4 victory.
In the first, Alix Johnson got in scoring position after walking and then advancing to second on a passed ball. A Cheyenne Coyle single up the middle brought in Johnson, giving ASU a 1-0 lead in the early goings.
Pacific evened it at 1-1 in the bottom of the second, with bases loaded a Melanie Habib single scored Amy Moore. The Sun Devils brought Dallas Escobedo to get the final two outs in relief of Mackenzie Popescue. Escobedo got the next two batters, swinging, to end the threat with Pacific picking up just one run on bases loaded.
The Sun Devils regained the lead in the fourth, 2-1, via Sam Parlich's home run to left. Three batters later Johnson homered to right, a two-RBI shot that scored Bailey Wigness, who got on with a single down the left field line.
With ASU ahead 4-1, Habib once again brought in a Pacific run, this time during the bottom of the sixth to cut the Sun Devil lead to 4-2 with one frame left in the game. Two outs down in the bottom of the seventh, Pacific rallied to tie it 4-4 on a two-RBI single from Moore that plated the tying run.
For just the second time this year, ASU went into extra innings. Pinch hitting in the eighth, Nikki Girard was clutch with a single through the left side to score Bethany Kemp, going up 5-4. Kemp started on second base due to the international tie breaker rule that puts the previous innings last out on second to start the extra inning.
Escobedo held on to the lead in the bottom of the eighth and secured the 5-4 victory for the Sun Devils. Escobedo picks up the win after 6.2 innings in relief and 13 strikeouts, making her 15-2 overall and tying the junior for fifth all-time at ASU in wins with 76.
Parlich and Wigess both went 2-for-3 at the plate with one run scored but the clutch at-bat came in a pinch hit from Girard who brought in the go-ahead run in the top of the eighth.
The Sun Devils now enter Pac-12 play. ASU will head to UCLA March 22-24. Although one of the games against the Bruins was initially scheduled to be on the Pac-12 Network, changes have been made and none of the UCLA games will be on TV. ASU first TV game is March 30 against Oregon State in Tempe.
Alix Johnson's homer was her eighth of the season and 24th of her career. She ties for 12th all-time at ASU in home runs.
Sam Parlich's home run was her seventh of the year and 24th of her career. She ties for 12th all-time at ASU in homers with Johnson.
Escobedo had 13 strikeouts against the Tigers, extending her 10+ strikeout streak to three-straight games. It is a feat she has recorded on nine occasions in 2013.