(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
In the final game of the series, the No. 18 Sun Devils avoided the sweep by in-state rival, the No. 20 Arizona Wildcats, winning the game by a score of 3-2.
The game was in front of a sold-out crowd for the third time this weekend.
Through the third inning the game was a pitchers’ duel. It was redshirt junior pitcher Kelsey Kessler versus junior pitcher Danielle O’Toole.
“We wanted her (O’Toole),” senior center fielder Jennifer Soria said. “Even on the second day we wanted her back out there. We were excited to see her again.”
Only one hit had been allowed between the pitchers until the fourth inning when Kessler gave up a two-run bomb to junior third baseman Katiyana Mauga.
The Sun Devils were able to answer right back in the bottom of the fourth. With two outs, freshman first baseman Fa Leilua singled in senior pinch runner Breona Peralta.
After Kessler shut the door on the Wildcats in the fifth, Soria gave ASU the lead with a two-run homerun into right field. The home run was Soria’s fifth of the season and it pushed her season RBI total up to 22.
Kessler stayed in the game in the seventh to close it out and get her ninth complete game of the season.
“She (Kessler) went out there saying she wants it (the inning),” co-interim head coach Letty Olivarez said. “She wanted to close this game so that’s what was a deciding factor.”
The Wildcats put pressure on by getting runners on first and second with only one-out in the inning.
Kessler got the second out, but then walked another batter and loaded the bases.
The Wildcats were not able to get anything across the plate and Kessler got her eighth win of the season.
“We knew we had to get this win,” Kessler said. “There was no way we could let them sweep us at home. We did what we had to do.”
If you have any questions or comments, you can contact Jacob Franklin via twitter @JFrankSports or via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.