(Photo: Alli Cline/WCSN)
After a relief appearance on Saturday that saw her give up the winning runs to the Golden Bears, Breanna Macha rebounded in the best way possible – guiding the Arizona State Sun Devils to an 11-6 win over 12th ranked California.
The freshman handled herself well in Sunday’s rubber match with Cal. Pitching all seven innings, while surrendering 5 earned runs during an afternoon in which her stuff was just “ok” to head coach Craig Nicholson.
“The difference between today and Friday was that she was able her changeup over the plate more and keep hitters off balance.”
Sunday was another battle with the long ball for the newcomer Macha, as she gave up her 16th and 17th homers of the year. Both of ASU’s highly touted freshman pitchers have had issues with giving up round-trippers all year, but Macha was able to succeed through the adversity on Sunday.
“They’re still learning,” catcher Amber Freeman said of Macha and Ryndak. “They’re completely different pitchers from when we started and they’re doing a great job.”
The final score makes this one look like an offensive explosion for the Sun Devils. However the run support wouldn’t quite come to Macha’s aid until the sixth inning. When the offense would give her a seven run lead on six hits. But the seven runs behind her after the fourth would be plenty for Macha in her 11th win and eighth complete game.
The Bears turned to Stephanie Trzcinski in the circle in the Sunday matinee. The sophomore entered the game with a 10-1 record to go along with a good looking 1.95 ERA, that would rise above the two mark after a solid offensive performance from ASU.
ASU jumped ahead thanks to Elizabeth Caporuscio’s two-run single in the third. The Sun Devils would drive in more in the fourth after Sierra Rodriguez ripped a double down the right field line that tacked on two more.
The Sun Devils would need every run of their 7-1 lead that they brought to the fifth inning, as Cal was able to plate three runs to make it 7-4.
Macha would have no major problems after that, finishing the complete game and sealing up the victory over the Golden Bears.
Sierra Rodriguez and Amber Freeman each added a home run in the sixth to put this one out of reach. A couple of loud footnotes in what would be Arizona State’s first series win since starting conference play.
For Freeman, the seemingly insignificant home run was actually the 50th of her career. A testament to the legend she has forged since first donning the maroon and gold in 2011.
“Honestly I didn’t even know,” Freeman said. “When they announced it I didn’t really know what was going on, but it almost makes me teary-eyed and it’s amazing.”
Arizona State will look to build upon this two of three against a top-15 team by traveling to Tucson to face their in-state rival, Arizona.
“We’re going to have to keep scoring runs,” Nicholson said regarding the impending clash with the Wildcats. “I except to see some high scores like we saw this weekend, so were going to have to do a good job offensively.”