Greg Byrne's Wildcat Wednesday
ASU Walks Off in Extras to Take Game One
By: Arizona Athletics
Release: March 23, 2012
Photo Courtesy: Arizona Athletics
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March 23, 2012

TEMPE, Ariz. -

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Fourteenth-ranked Arizona and No. 5 Arizona State needed extra innings to settle game one of the three game series. Elizabeth Caporuscio ended the game with a walk-off, two-run homer to center field in the bottom of the eighth, to down the Wildcats, 4-2.

Arizona (19-6, 0-1 Pac-12) outhit ASU, 7-4. It is the second time in three games Arizona has outhit its opponent but taken the loss. Arizona pitchers limited the nation's fourth-most prolific offense (7.77 runs per game) to just four hits and four runs.

Dallas Escobedo pitched all eight innings for ASU (29-3, 1-0 Pac-12) and allowed two runs on seven hits while striking out eight Wildcats. Escobedo improved to 11-2 with the win.

Kenzie Fowler took the loss in relief of Shelby Babcock for Arizona. Fowler entered in the fifth inning with the bases loaded and one out only to retire the two Sun Devils she faced. Fowler was sharp, not allowing a hit until the walk-off Caporuscio bomb. Fowler pitched 2.2 innings and allowed two run on one hit, walked two and struck out two. Fowler dropped to 8-2 with the loss.

Shelby Babcock got the start for Arizona. Babcock was brilliant through four (three hits, two runs, two strikeouts) before running into trouble in the fifth. Babcock walked the loaded bases with one out before being lifted for Fowler who got out unscathed.

The Wildcats had their chances in the game. UA stranded runners in scoring position in the seventh and eighth innings and left the bases loaded in both the third and fifth.

Jessica Spigner drove home to two Wildcat runs. In the first Spigner notched a sacrifice fly to give UA a 1-0 lead and in the third, she drew an RBI HBP. The RBI were numbers 24 and 25.

Hallie Wilson and Kristen Arriola had a pair of hits in the game.

The game was Arizona's first game to go extra innings, its first road game, its first conference game and its first game against a top-10 opponent.

Two Escobedo walks led off the game for Arizona in the first. After a groundout moved the base-runners over, Spigner drove home Wilson with a sacrifice fly to give Arizona the 1-0 lead.

UA added to its lead in the third. A pair of singles and a walk loaded the bases for Arizona with one out in the frame. After a Brigette Del Ponte strikeout, Spigner was hit by Escobedo's 0-2 offering to drive home her second run of the game.

Babcock got the first two Sun Devils out in the third inning, but an Alix Johnson double followed by an Annie Lockwood no-doubt home run to center field tied the game at four.

In the fifth inning, both teams loaded the bases, but had nothing to show for it. In UA's half, two singles and a hit-by-pitch filled the bases before Escobedo induced a foul fly out from Lini Koria. In the bottom of the inning, Babcock walked the bases loaded with one down and Fowler came in to get the next two out.

The teams traded zeroes in the sixth and Arizona got a runner to second base in the seventh but could not capitalize.

In the top of the eight, Koria drew a leadoff walk and was doubled off first when Shelby Pendley popped up a sacrifice bunt attempt. Chelsea Goodacre followed that with a two-out double, but Arriola flew out to end the threat.

With the heart of the ASU order up, Fowler walked the first batter of the bottom of the eighth. Caporuscio, who showed sac-bunt on Fowler's first offering, swung away and took the 0-1 pitch over the center field wall to end the game.

Arizona and ASU meet again Saturday (7:00 p.m. PDT) and Sunday (12:00 p.m.). ASU will go for the series sweep tomorrow, and the Territorial Cup Point.