February 11, 2013

Softball completes perfect weekend; beats Bradley, Boise State

Posted: February 11, 2013
The Sun Devils' 7-0 weekend is the program's best start dating back to 2007 when ASU won its first 15 games in head coach Clint Myers' second season at the helm.
Photo by: Jason Wise

Completing a perfect 7-0 weekend, No. 4 softball solidified its newcomers are the real deal. On Feb. 10, Arizona State took down Bradley 3-0 and followed with a no-hitter against No. 6 Boise State, 10-0, to start the season on a streak.

The Sun Devils' 7-0 weekend is the program's best start dating back to 2007 when ASU won its first 15 games in head coach Clint Myers' second season at the helm.

At the plate ASU put up some big numbers as a team - hitting .351, 12 home runs, out hitting opponents 66 to 20. Elizabeth Caporuscio has a team best .571 average and 12 hits and junior transfer Cheyenne Coyle is close behind, hitting .474 on five home runs and a team-best 10 RBI.

Arizona State's bullpen showed little hiccups over the weekend. Dallas Escobedo is 4-0 with a 0.28 ERA in 24.2 innings pitched and added a no-hitter with Alexis Cooper against Boise State on Sunday. Mackenzie Popescue has come into her own over the past three games. She's logged three wins, tied her career strikeout mark (8 vs. Western Michigan) and pitched 20.1 innings, which is nearly half of her total last year.

GAME ONE: ASU 3, Bradley 0

Bradley entered the contest with a marquee win against No. 13 Arizona on Friday night.  Against ASU, the Braves opened play with a two-out, bases loaded situation in the first. Mackenzie Popescue worked herself out of a jam with a strikeout looking, keeping the board clean.

A sluggish start saw Arizona State commit two errors and allow two hits while the Sun Devil offense remained without a hit through the second inning, a first for the season.  Cheyenne Coyle took care of that stat after notching her fifth home run of the year, a saving grace that gave ASU its first hit and a 1-0 lead.

With only one out in the bottom of the sixth,  Elizabeth Caporuscio and Haley Steele went back-to-back on base hits. A fielder's choice in Sam Parlich's at-bat scored Caporuscio and a sacrifice fly to right by Bethany Kemp then scored Steele for ASU to go ahead 3-0.

Popescue picked up her third win after throwing 6.1 innings with four strikeouts. Dallas Escobedo came in relief for the final two strikeouts, going on to record the first Sun Devil save of the year.

GAME TWO: ASU 10, Boise State 0 (6)

Caporuscio continued to hit well for the Sun Devils and followed Amber Freeman's double with a single to right that brought home Freeman for the first run of the game 1-0.

ASU loaded the bases on one out after three-straight singles in the second inning. All three would score in the frame that featured four Devil hits, stretching the lead to 4-0, but Arizona State stranded three on base.

Solo runs in the third by Nikki Girard, unearned, and a solo homer in the fourth by Alix Johnson made it 6-0 in favor of the Devils. The Broncos were able to keep ASU off the board in the fifth but the Maroon and Gold came back to bat around in the sixth, score four runs, 10-0, on five hits and give some their first collegiate at-bat.

In all, 17 Sun Devils would have playing time in the 10-0 mercy rule through six innings.

Escobedo was tracking down a perfect game all the way through five innings. A pre-planned relief by Alexis Cooper at the top of the sixth broke the perfect game with one Bronco walk, but the no-hitter will go down as ASU's 23rd all-time. Escobedo picked up the win, making her 4-0 overall.

Up next

The Sun Devils remain at Farrington Stadium when they host the Littlewood Classic starting Feb. 15. ASU starts the weekend with a doubleheader against Northern Iowa and Michigan State.

Notes

Alix Johnson hit her first homer of the season against Boise State, now tying her for 15th all-time at ASU.

The Sun Devils' 7-0 weekend is the program's best start dating back to 2007 when ASU won its first 15 games in head coach Clint Myers' second season at the helm.

The Escobedo/Cooper no-hitter against Boise State is ASU's 23rd in program history.