Behind three home runs and a spectacular performance from starting pitcher Dallas Escobedo, No. 2 Arizona State ended their first losing streak of the season by defeating 14th ranked Washington 7-1 at Farrington Stadium.
With two-outs in the bottom of the fourth and already up 2-0, the Sun Devils took advantage of a Jennie McNeill error and scored five runs. McNeill failed to catch a fly ball, which would have ended the inning. Kayla Ketchum scored on the play and Amber Freeman hit a two-run home run in the next at-bat to extend the lead to 5-0. Two batters later, Haley Steele joined the home run party by hitting a two-run shot to center.
“Hitting is always contagious,” Steele said. “The error definitely gave us the edge. We were up and we wanted to keep tacking on the runs.”
The five-run fourth inning was more than enough for Escobedo. She was in a groove all night long, allowing only three hits on the night in her complete game effort. The win gave Escobedo her 81st career victory, which ties her for third all-time in school history.
“The key for me tonight was being able to focus on myself,” Escobedo said. “I know that I have confidence in myself and being able to work with my catcher (Freeman) and throw the pitches where I wanted really helped that.”
“Dallas pitched great tonight,” head coach Clint Myers said. “She was able to change speeds and put the ball where she wanted.”
Bailey Wigness scored the first run of the game on an RBI single from Cheyenne Coyle. Lucy Aubrecht hit her fifth home run of the season in the second inning to make it 2-0.
The Sun Devils meet the Huskies in the rubber match tomorrow at noon.