The Arizona State softball team escaped with a 5-4 victory over Oregon State tonight at Farrington Stadium in Tempe.
The Sun Devils’ explosive offense was in for a tough task entering the game, as Beavers’ starting pitcher Marina Demore had an ERA of 2.05.
In the top of the seventh, Oregon State’s Ya Garcia led off the inning with a single to bring up Beaver center fielder Dani Gilmore. Gilmore was able to capitalize on Escobedo’s mistake and hit a two-run home run to center to cut the lead to 5-4.
Escobedo was able to settle down and got the next two batters to groundout before striking out the last batter, giving the Sun Devils the 5-4 victory.
“If you miss a pitch, they are going to hit it. This game helped us a lot because we were able to stay focused the entire game,” Escobedo said.
It took one inning for the Sun Devils to wake up as left fielder Elizabeth Caporuscio hit a solo home run in the second inning to put ASU on the board. Designated player Nikki Girard and catcher Amber Freeman would also score in the inning as the Sun Devils led 3-0 after two.
“[The home run] got things going. Our team likes to rally. Once we start going, we just keep adding more runs,” Caporuscio said.
She would score again in the third inning on a Bethany Kemp single, as the Sun Devils extended their lead to four.
Starting pitcher Dallas Escobedo had only given up three hits entering the fourth inning and no runner had made it past second base until Beavers third baseman Desiree Beltran hit a two-run home run to center.
Haley Steele added a solo home run in the fifth inning to push to lead back to three.
The Sun Devils defense was on their A-game tonight, especially the infield. Entering the game, the Sun Devils had committed 28 errors and ASU head coach Clint Myers had stated in previous weeks that the defense was a concern.
“ I think we have done a much better job of handling the ball in practice,” Myers said. “We have worked on our drills more efficiently. We are playing better defense and we want it to continue.”
These teams will play again tomorrow in the second of the three-game series, with the game set to start at 7 p.m. MT.