(Tempe, AZ) Bill McCulloch
Being able to exhale after last night’s win stopped a school record losing streak, would Arizona use the momentum in today’s series finale?
The first three innings of today’s game the Cats went nine batters up and nine batters down said otherwise.
Meanwhile the Devils got a leadoff double from Kindra Hackbarth taking third on a wild pitch by Taylor McQuillin and scored on a fielders choice as the throw home was late for a 1-0 lead.
ASU’s Gisele Juarez continued her mastery of Arizona from her game one victory. For three innings, she had the Cats off balance and pressing not letting a single batter reach base.
On the Arizona side, McQuillin struck out two ASU batters each of the first four innings
Reyna Carranco broke through in the Wildcat’s top half of the fourth inning with solid single to left field, but a pop up and fly ball to left closed out the inning with no damage done.
Goose eggs populated the left field scoreboard as both teams locked down the defense for five innings.
In the top of the sixth, Ashley Hughes was hit by a pitch, although the Sun Devils would argue that she swung at the pitch. Hughes promptly stole second base and tagged up and advanced to third base on fly ball out by Carranco.
Alyssa Palomino took little time to right the ship as she smoked a drive over the left center field wall bringing Hughes home and the Cats were suddenly up 2-1.
The Sun Devils went quietly in their half of the sixth inning as McQullin’s strike outs reached nine.
With time running out and their backs to the wall, Marisa Stankiewicz battled McQuillin by fouling off pitch after pitch until she found the one she liked and sent it over the right center field wall to tie the game up at two.
Taylor Bacerra followed with a double and the Devils were one hit away from winning the game and taking the series.
Mcquillin dug down deep and retired the next three batters to send the rubber match to extra innings.
Red shirt freshman Carli Campbell legged out an infield single to get the all important lead off batter aboard, but was forced at second on a fielders choice.
Carranco trying to advance the runner, ended up laying down a perfect bunt to put runners at first and second with one out.
Palomino singled to load the bases as Candrea held up the runner at third. Jesse Harper found her sweet spot as she lined hard over the center fielder’s head to score two and a 4-2 lead.
McQullin gave up a two out single in the bottom of the eighth but ended the game by striking out Danielle Gibson to give her eleven for the game.
The road series win was the first for the Wildcats over a top ten opponent since 2012.
Home cooking is on tap for Arizona as they face the New Mexico Lobos on Wednesday.
Watch the post game video interviews from Alyssa Palomino and Coach Candrea on the 520 Sports Talk Facebook Page.