(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
No. 20 Arizona State grabbed its first Pac-12 series win against the California Golden Bears, taking two of three and winning the last on a 9-1 run rule.
The Sun Devils jumped on the Golden Bears early. Senior center fielder Jennifer Soria hit her fourth home run of the series in the first inning, bringing in senior left fielder Abby Spiel.
One more run would come around in the first when freshman first baseman Fa Leilua drew a bases loaded walk to make it 3-0.
Soria was able to pick up her third RBI of the game in the next inning on a single up the middle.
Two batters later sophomore right fielder Nichole Chilson drove in a run on a ground out to shortstop.
Redshirt junior pitcher Kelsey Kessler got through the first two innings without giving up a hit, but in the third California was able to put pressure on. With no outs, the Golden Bears loaded the bases.
Kessler was able to pull off the Houdini act and work her way out of the jam without giving up a run and keeping the score at 5-0.
Chilson drove in her second run of the game on a fielder’s choice in the top of the fourth.
California put on pressure again in the bottom of the fourth, loading the bases for the second time of the day; this time with two outs. Kessler was once again able to work out of the jam.
Leilua backed up her pitcher in the next half inning by sending an inside pitch over the left field fence making it 7-0.
After loading the bases for the third time in the game, the Golden Bears were finally able to bring a run across on a sacrifice fly from sophomore designated player Taurie Pogue.
ASU answered right back as Chilson and junior shortstop Chelsea Gonzales added two more runs on RBI singles. Those two runs put the Sun Devils in position for a run rule.
Kessler shut down California in the bottom half of the sixth finishing a complete game win.
The Sun Devils will head back to Tempe to face Washington next weekend.
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