(Photo: Elaine Wilson/WCSN)
No. 22 Arizona State opened up its trip to Utah with one of its most surprising games of the season, losing in six innings 10-2.
The offense was nowhere to be found for the Sun Devils on a day where the pitching staff really could have used some help. The first three batters in ASU’s lineup all went 0-3 on Saturday.
The Utes, in all aspects of the game, overpowered the slumping Devils. A combination of Kelsey Kessler and Breanna Macha allowed 14 hits. On the other end Katie Donavon, who entered the game with a 1.90 ERA, took the circle for Utah and only gave up four hits in a complete game performance.
The success for Utah started early. In the bottom of the first inning cleanup hitter Heather Bowen doubled down the leftfield line scoring Anissa Urtez who reached on a fielder’s choice. The very next batter Ally Dickman kept the two out rally going and picked up an RBI single as Bowen scored easily. Kessler was able to avoid more damage but Utah held the 2-0 lead through one.
ASU’s offense was able to even things back up in the second. The back end of the lineup came through as Katee Aguirre singled down the line in left field driving home a run. Two batters later Abby Spiel reached on a throwing error by the pitcher and Aguirre scored from third base.
Runs kept on coming for the Utes in the second inning. With two runners on Hannah Flippen cranked a homerun over the fence in left centerfield, her 12th of the season.
Pitching dominated for the middle half of the game as no runs came across in the third and fourth inning. Kessler avoided a scare in the bottom of the fourth when she managed to get Anissa Urtez to pop out with the bases loaded and two outs.
Sophomore Breanna Macha came in to replace Kessler in the circle in the fifth inning. Macha allowed a double to Dickman and then Bridget Castro drove her home with a base hit. That made it 6-2 Utah.
The Sun Devils came up to bat in the sixth inning needing to make something happen but Katie Donavon was just too much for ASU.
Little did everyone know it would take no more than six innings to wrap the game up. Macha struggled mightily allowing five hits in the inning. The first three runners reached base. In stepped the dangerous Hannah Flippen who drew a walk bringing home the first run. That was followed up with an Urtez single and RBI.
Macha was able to get Bowen out swinging, but with one out Ally Dickman picked up her third hit of the game with a double into the outfield, which scored Flippen and the game winning run Shelby Pacheco.
The Sun Devils will look to even the series up Sunday in Salt Lake City. First pitch is at 6 p.m.