(Photo: Alli Cline/WCSN)
Just a day removed from whipping the Indiana Hoosiers, Arizona State received a taste of its own medicine in a 9-4 thrashing at the hands of the Texas Longhorns in its first game of a double header on Sunday.
Freshman Erica Wright was masterful on the rubber for Texas, allowing four runs on eight hits and seven strikeouts on her way to the win.
Arizona State Head Coach, Craig Nicholson attempted to counter Wright with a freshman of his own in Breanna Macha.
As ASU great Dallas Escobedo looked on from the stands, the highly touted Macha was overwhelmed in the circle from the get-go, as the talented Texas lineup took advantage of her struggle to hit her sports early on.
The Longhorns bashed Macha in the first, scoring six runs on two walks and three hits, including a three run bomb to centerfield off the bat of Erin Shireman.
Head Coach Craig Nicholson was forced to yank his starter after just one inning pitched, going to fellow freshman Dale Ryndak to try to stop the bleeding and give his offense a chance to get back in the game.
Ryndak put forth a solid effort in the strange situation, but the Texas offense refused to be cooled off as roped an RBI triple of the left centerfield wall, and then came in to score on a Holly Kern single, extending their lead to eight runs.
Ryndak finished the day with six innings pitched and three earned runs on seven hits and five strikeouts.
Star slugger Amber Freeman had a chance to get Arizona State back in it in the third inning with one out and the bases loaded, but Wright struck her out on three pitches. Texas got out of the threat unscathed after Bethany Kemp popped out to center, preserving the 6-0 Longhorn lead.
The Sun Devils failed to amount any real scoring threats until the bottom fifth, when Allie Butterfield scored from second on a fielder’s choice. The run marked ASU’s first of the contest and allowed them to avoid being mercy-ruled for the first time this year.
Lindsey Stephens answered the Sun Devils’ one run inning with an opposite-field solo shot off of Ryndak in the top of the sixth. Giving the Longhorns a 9-1 lead, and the eight run advantage that puts the run-rule into affect.
However, Wright and the Longhorns were once again unable to finish off Arizona State, as Sierra Rodriguez hit a towering drive off the wall in right center to scoring Abby Spiel from first. ASU continued to chip at the lead in the sixth with a two-run double down the line by Amber Freeman making the score 9-4.
Following a scoreless top half in the seventh, the Sun Devils couldn’t even manage to get a runner on base, as Erica Wright put the finishing touches on her second win of the season, singing “The Eyes of Texas” with her teammates and the Longhorn fans in attendance.
Arizona State’s record now stands at 4-2, but they will get a chance to finish the Kajikawa classic with a win later this afternoon when they face Cal State Northridge.