UA pitcher Sarah Akamine (8-2) drew the loss, while ASU’s Katie Burkhart (22-8) earned the victory.
ASU took a three-run lead in the first inning on a pair of singles and a home run. Kaitlin Cochran led off with a base knock to center and moved to second on a Bianca Cruz groundout. Next, Ashley Muenz singled to center to plate Cochran for the game’s first run. Two pitches later, second baseman Mindy Cowles flied a ball that rode a deep right that just cleared the wall for a two-run homer.
After scoring just two runs in 14 innings against Burkhart in two previous games, the three-run deficit may have appeared to be an insurmountable one. However, UA mounted an unlikely second-inning comeback to tie the game. Jenae Leles led off with a walk, but was still standing on first with two outs and an 0-2 count on Sam Banister. UA’s sophomore from
With two runners on,
Akamine worked out of a bases-loaded situation in the bottom of the third without allowing a run .
ASU escaped a Wildcat run in the top of the fourth, as Callista Balko hit a fly ball to deep center that took Cochran all the way to the wall, before the ASU center fielder came down with the catch.
The Sun Devils scored a pair of runs in their half of the fourth to take a 5-3 advantage. Cruz singled Jessica Mapes home to take the lead. ASU got its second run of the frames when Cowles drove in Cruz for her second RBI hit of the game.
ASU tacked on another run in the fifth singled on four hits. Cochran singled Michelle Smith home for ASU’s sixth and final run of the contest.