(Photo:Sun Devil Athletics)
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The Arizona State Sun Devils came from behind once again to defeat the Stanford Cardinal 7-5, completing the three-game series sweep.
Cheyenne Coyle capped off a five-run seventh inning for the Sun Devils (30-5, 4-2 Pac-12) when she launched a three-run home run over the left field fence off of Cardinal pitcher Madi Schreyer. Earlier in the inning Amber Freeman drove in two runs when she hit a ball that was misplayed by second basemen Erin Ashby with the bases loaded. It was the second time in the series that the Sun Devils came from behind late to beat the Cardinal (23-11, 1-5 Pac 12).
“I was just trying to score the runner on third maybe with a sac fly and get her home because that’s the sort of hitter I am,” Coyle said after the game. “But [Scheyer] just kind of left it right there.” Coyle’s home run was her second of the series and the sixth by the Sun Devils.
Similar to Saturday’s 16-15 marathon, the Sun Devils found themselves down in the seventh after a big inning for the Cardinal, this time the fourth. The Cardinal started the inning up 1-0 after a solo home run from Jessica Plaza in the second inning. With runners on second and third, Hanna Winter ripped a ball down the third base line.
All the players on the field, including Winter stopped playing because the ball landed in foul territory. However, the home plate umpire ruled it fair and one run scored. The Cardinal added three more runs thanks to some sloppy defense by the Sun Devils, who recorded three errors in the game.
After the game Sun Devil head coach Craig Nicholson praised the way the Sun Devils responded.
“We’re down 5-0 after four innings and we just battled and found a way to win,” Sun Devil head coach Craig Nicholson said. “Once we got down we really kind of locked in and actually had better at-bats, so that’s great to see. And we just kept competing until the last pitch.”
The play down the third base line was not the only controversial play the Sun Devils had to overcome. Bailey Wigness was called out in the third inning for leaving base early on ball four to Amber Freeman and a missed trapped ball in the fourth inning cost the Sun Devils base runners.
“As I just told our team, sometimes you’re going to have calls go your way. Sometimes they’re going to go against you,” Nicholson said. “You got to play the game. You’re not here to umpire the game. You play the game and react to what happens.”
The Sun Devils were able to regain their defensive composure. Starting pitcher Dallas Escobedo who struggled early on and did not record her first strikeout until the fifth inning, was able to shut out the Cardinal in the final three innings.
“Coach talks a lot about giving up or still fighting the fight,” Escobedo said. “So I just said ‘Whatever’ and kind of got into a zone and just tried to throw hard and hit my corners and be able to just really focus in and they came out pretty good.”
Elizabeth Caporuscio also helped out by making up for a throwing error in the fourth that allowed a run to score with a home run-saving catch at the wall in left field in the sixth inning.
“It’s just one of those things you have to let go,” Caporuscio said of her error. “I didn’t want to let it affect me or my team and that’s what you have to do.”
All the players and Nicholson praised the team for being able to come together and rally again. The Sun Devils now have a shortened week to prepare for a home series against Arizona. Despite the schedule being thrown off, Nicholson admitted that the Sun Devils’ preparation will remain the same.
The first game against Arizona is schedule for Friday at 5 p.m. at Farrington Stadium in Tempe.