TUCSON--Arizona stranded seven runners through four innings before getting a key hit and an ASU miscue to come from behind and beat Arizona State, 3-1, before a crowd of 1,663 at Hillenbrand Stadium.
The Sun Devils took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first. Bridgette Caron led off with a double over left fielder Autumn Champion's head, and two outs later scored on a single by catcher Heidi Knabe.
The Cats put a runner in scoring position after Caitlin Lowe led off the UA first with an infield single and stole second on a strikeout pitch to Champion. An out later Jackie Coburn was hit by a pitch to put two runners aboard but ASU pitcher Katie Burkhardt got Shelly Schultz to hit into a force play to end the threat.
UA threatened again in the second, but came up empty. Crystal Farley got on board with a two-out single, Courtney Fossatti drew a walk, and ASU intentionally walked Caitlin Lowe to load the bases. But Burkhardt got pinch-hitter Candace Abrams to ground to third.
Caron singled with one out in the third and Kim Zadrozny drew a walk to put a runner in scoring position for ASU, but Alicia Hollowell struck out Valerie Sevilla and got Knabe to fly to center.
Rhiannon Baca and Sheree Zaleski drew walks off Hollowell with two outs in the fourth, but the UA junior came back and struck out pinch hitter Kristin Crenshaw.
ASU brought in reliever Desiree Serrano in the bottom of the fourth and Arizona put runners on base with a two-out walk by Callista Balko and an infield single by Fossatti, but Serrano got Caitlin Lowe to line out to center on the first pitch.
Sevilla doubled off the fence in left with two-outs in the top of the fifth, but Hollowell got a ground ball by Knabe to strand ASU's sixth runner to that point.
Arizona finally put something on the scoreboard with the rally in the fifth. Autumn Champion hit a no-throw-on-the-play infield single and Kristie Fox drew a walk. ASU re-entered starter Burkhardt and she gave up a run-scoring single to Coburn, then threw a wild pitch to bring in Fox with the go-ahead run.
UA shortstop Fox snared a liner up the middle and doubled Baca off first after the ASU second baseman had singled with one out in the sixth, to help quell that chance for the Devils.
Arizona added an insurance run in the bottom of the sixth with a bit of short ball. Farley led off with a single, Fossatti sacrificed her to second, Lowe moved her to third with a ball to the right side, and then Autumn Champion drove her in with a fielder's choice when Farley slid under the tag at the plate.
The Sun Devils made it interesting with a pair of hits by Michelle Smith and Caron in the top of the seventh, but Hollowell got her eighth strikeout and a ground ball to preserve the victory for Arizona (32-6, 5-5 in Pac-10 play).
Hollowell gave up sevent hits and struck out eight in improving to 20-5. Serrano (10-6) took the loss for the Sun Devils (26-17, 1-10). The two teams complete the season series at 7 p.m. Saturday at Hillenbrand.