Arizona State (21-1) lost their first game of the year as Baylor (19-3) hit four home runs on their way to a 6-2 win over the Sun Devils. The loss halts ASU’s 21-0 start that is now the best in program history.
A two-run home run by Linsey Hays got the scoring started for the Bears in the top of the first inning. “Home runs are always gonna happen,” ASU ace Dallas Escobedo said. “I feel like I just gotta get over them.” Escobedo also stressed her need to spot the ball better.
In the bottom of the first inning, two walks by Baylor starting pitcher Whitney Canion and an error by Bears’ second baseman Robin Landrith allowed Alix Johnson to score, followed by Cheyenne Coyle who scored on an Amber Freeman sac fly.
The scoring stopped there for the Sun Devils.
“We just weren’t good offensively,” ASU head coach Clint Myers said.
ASU batters struck out 11 times in the game.
“Any time you’re facing a lefty pitcher, it’s gonna be a little more difficult,” junior Alix Johnson said.
Sarah Smith and Heather Sterns hit back-to-back home runs in the top of the third inning to give Baylor the 4-2 lead and the Bears never looked back. “They got six runs all on home runs. I mean, if those were singles, we’d probably still be playing,” Myers said.
Dallas Escobedo was pulled from the circle after the third inning in favor of Mackenzie Popescue.
“You can’t be perfect all the time,” Escobedo said. “The only stat I’m gonna look at is the last W at the end of the season, the last game, when we get that win.”
Robin Landrith vindicated her error by putting a two-run home run over the wall to give Baylor the 6-2 lead. The Bears went on to win by that score.
The Sun Devils were upset but ready to move on.
“We’re definitely a better team. We got beat today, we didn’t lose. They beat us in pitching, hitting, fielding and everything that went along, but we didn’t lose,” Escobedo said. ASU only managed four hits on the day, all of the singles and left six runners stranded on base. “Hey, it’s disappointing, but [we’ll be] back at it next week,” Johnson added.
“Hopefully it will bring knowledge, no excuses, they beat us. That’s the bottom line,” Myers said.
Next up for ASU is the Diamond Devil Invitational, starting Friday, with a doubleheader against UC Davis at 4:30p.m. MT and Pittsburgh at 7 p.m. MT.
Escobedo: 3 IP, 5 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 6 K
Popescue: 4 IP, 6 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 5 K
Alix Johnson went one for two with two walks and scored a run.
Clint Myers currently stands at 398 Division one wins and will be going for number 400 next weekend.
Canion: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 11 K
Linsey Hays went three for four with two RBI and one run.
Sarah Smith went two for four with one RBI and one run.
This game was a rematch of the 2011 Women’s College World Series with the same starting pitchers. Dallas Escobedo and ASU won that game 4-0 on their way to the National Title.