Battle Of The Bombs Goes To #5 ASU, 7-4
Taking on one of the toughest lineups in the country, the Pacific softball team went punch for punch on the road against No. 5 Arizona State before succumbing to the Sun Devils, 7-4, on Saturday, March 10. The loss was the first of the weekend for the Tigers as they fell to 13-9 on the season while the Sun Devils improved to 24-2.
In a slugfest in the desert, the Tigers fell just short against the hard hitting Sun Devils as Arizona State was able to use four home runs in the contest to counter Pacific's own big bats at the plate. At the plate, the Tigers proved to be up for the challenge of taking on the defending national champions as Pacific outhit the home team 10-7 on the night.
Pacific got on the board first against the Sun Devils in the top of the first inning as the Tigers' tallied three hits against the Sun Devils' starter, Dallas Escobedo including taking the sophomore deep for the first time in the game. With junior Megan Hom aboard after a leadoff single, the Tigers posted the first two runs in the book on a single swing of the bat when junior Nikki Armagost lifted a deep fly ball over the left-center field wall for her second home run of the weekend. The Tigers would get a single from senior Nicole Matson immediately after the home run, but see the inning halted abruptly as the Sun Devils turned a 6-4-3 double play.
In the bottom of the inning, the Sun Devils would answer with the first of four home runs as Kaitlyn Boyd blasted a leadoff home run down the right field line to cut Pacific's lead to 2-1. Two innings later, the Sun Devils would take the lead for good as Arizona State put three on the board with two outs in the inning. The big hit in the inning came from Elizabeth Caporuscio who slammed a two-run shot to right-center to cap the inning.
Leading 5-2, the Sun Devils tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the fifth as they hit two more home runs that would prove the difference in the game.
The 7-2 lead would be too much for the Tigers to overcome as Pacific posted runs in both the sixth and the seventh innings before falling by the final tally of 7-4. In the sixth, Pacific would pick up a run on a RBI single by Hom after the Tigers picked up singles from senior Alexa Rivera and sophomore Taylor Petty with one out in the inning. In the seventh, the Tigers led the inning off with their second home run of the game as sophomoreKelsey Rodriguez blasted an Escobedo pitch over the center field wall for her second home run of the season.
In the circle, freshman Dani Bonnet suffered the loss to fall to 5-4 on the year with all of her four losses coming against Pac-12, top-25 opponents. The freshman went 4.1 innings while giving up five hits and six runs before giving way to sophomore Tori Shepard. In relief, Shepard gave up two hits and one run in 1.2 innings of work while striking out one.
For the Sun Devils, Escobedo improved to 9-1 on the year as the sophomore pitched the complete seven innings while giving up 10 hits and four runs to the Tigers. She would added six strikeouts and one walk to her totals for the game.
Pacific will be back in action on Sunday, March 11, when the Tigers close out the Diamond Devil Invitational with a single game against New Mexico State. The two teams are scheduled to meet at 11:00 am.