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ASU Softball: Sun Devils can’t stymie Ducks’ perfect season

(Photo: Michael Baron/WCSN)

The No. 21 Arizona State Sun Devils traveled to Eugene, Oregon, for a three-game weekend series with the No. 3 Oregon Ducks. The Devils started the weekend 23-9, while the Ducks came into it a perfect 30-0.

 

Game 1: Oregon 4, ASU 0

Oregon shutout ASU 4-0 in game one of the series behind a dominant outing from freshman starter Maggie Balint.

Balint struck out the side in the first inning and struck out at least one Sun Devil in every ensuing inning en route to a complete game shutout. She allowed three hits, two walks, and struck out 10 total, improving her record to 15-0 on the season.

On the flip side, ASU junior starter Breanna Macha couldn’t keep the Ducks off the board for long. A single by UO junior third baseman Jenna Lilley scored freshman first baseman Mia Camuso from second with one out in the second inning.

The following batter, UO junior second baseman Lauren Lindvall tripled to right field bringing in Lilley and putting the Ducks up 2-0 after two.

Oregon padded its lead in the late innings, scoring another two runs thanks to sloppy fielding from ASU.

An error on senior shortstop Chelsea Gonzales brought in a run for the Ducks in the fifth, and an RBI single by Lindvall turned into two bases after a Brianna Wise error in the sixth.

Macha went on to allow 4 runs on 9 hits and a walk in six innings pitched while striking out three. The loss dropped her record to 9-5 on the year.

 

Game 2: Oregon 8, ASU 4

The Ducks were victorious 8-4 over the Sun Devils Saturday behind a consistent offensive attack.

In a game of two halves, ASU was hanging with Oregon, as it was tied at 3-3 after 3½ innings. However, the Ducks outscored the Devils 5-1 over the last 3½ innings to seal the second game of the series.

ASU started hot, scoring three runs in three innings highlighted by a pair of RBI doubles from junior right fielder Nichole Chilson.

The momentum swung in the bottom of the third, though, as freshman centerfielder Shannon Rhodes blasted a two-run homer to tie the game.

Oregon continued the scoring in the fourth, as they brought in runs with some small ball.

A pair of bunts from sophomore designated player Alexis Mack and junior catcher Gwen Svekis each scored a run in the fourth, the first one with help of an error on ASU first baseman Margaret Stahm. Senior shortstop Nikki Udria’s sacrifice fly put the Ducks up 6-3, a lead they would take to the fifth.

It was more of the same the next inning as a sacrifice flyout by Lindvall scored Evans and put the Ducks up by four Oregon would go on to win by that margin, the final being 8-4 after trading runs with ASU in the sixth.

Freshman Giselle Juarez was roughed up, as she allowed seven runs in five innings on 10 hits and a walk, while striking out four in the loss that brought her record to 4-4.

Freshman righty Miranda Elish earned the win for Oregon. She pitched the middle 3.2 innings only giving up one run on three hits and two walks, while striking out three to improve to 7-0.

 

Game 3: Oregon 1, ASU 0

Oregon eked out a victory in the finale, winning 1-0 in 8 innings to finish off the sweep of ASU and remain perfect at 33-0.

The game was a pitcher’s duel between UO sophomore righty Megan Kleist and ASU junior righthander Dale Ryndak.

Kleist was ousted after giving up three runs in 2.2 innings to ASU Saturday, but redeemed herself for the Ducks Sunday. Kleist pitched 6.1 shutout innings allowing four hits, two walks and striking out four.

Her counterpart, Ryndak, went a full seven innings giving up five hits and sux walks, but not allowing a run until the eighth while striking out three.

The Ducks took three batters to end it in the first extra inning. Svekis drew a leadoff walk and Udria singled to put the first two runners on for Oregon.

The speedy freshman outfielder Haley Cruse pinch-ran for the catcher Svekis and a single from Mia Camuso was enough to bring her home from second to win the game.

ASU lost despite out-hitting Oregon 4-3 in regulation. However, the Devils walked six Oregon batters compared to them walking two.

The defeat for Ryndak is just her third, as she falls to 6-3 on the year. Maggie Balint picked up the win for Oregon, pitching the last 1.2 innings and only allowing one Sun Devil to reach base in doing so.

ASU’s next game will be Thursday, April 13 when the Sun Devils visit the Stanford Cardinal at 4 p.m.

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