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Sun Devils walk off to complete sweep

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Two home runs by Sam Parlich and a walk-off hit by freshman Jennifer Soria helped lift Arizona State (16-0) over Portland State (4-12) by a score of 4-3 to complete the sweep of the weekend series.

It certainly didn’t feel like a day at the ballpark, with a game time temperature of 56 degrees and wind gusts of 30 miles per hour.

The bats were relatively quiet through the first four innings until Sam Parlich gave the Sun Devils the lead in the bottom of the fifth inning with a solo shot over the left field wall. “I wasn’t trying to hit a home run, I was just trying to get on base…it definitely picked the momentum up.”

The Vikings of Portland State responded in the top of the sixth when Dallas Escobedo gave up back-to-back home runs to Becca Bliss and Alicia Fine and then walked in Lexi Goranson later in the inning to give PSU the 3-1 lead. Clint Myers took Escobedo out of the game after the walk in favor of Mackenzie Popescue. Escobedo finished with 5.2 innings pitched, five hits, two earned runs and nine strikeouts. “Dallas only gave up three or four hits, just happened that two of them were home runs,” head coach Clint Myers said. “You have a windy day in which all kinds of stuff can happen…today we just weren’t focused and committed.”

Popescue got out of the bases-loaded jam and didn’t give up a hit in her 1.1 innings pitched, giving ASU a shot in the bottom of the seventh inning down 3-1. “I was very happy and excited by her performance today,” Myers said.

In the bottom of the seventh inning, Parlich started things off with her second homer of the day, cutting the lead to 3-2.

“It’s exciting, we never stop until the last out of the game is made,” Parlich said.

Bailey Wigness then singled and stole second, allowing Cheyenne Coyle to drive her in with a single to tie the game at three. Coyle went two for four on the day with an RBI.

Elizabeth Caporuscio was intentionally walked to get to Hailey Steele, who then drew a walk herself to load the bases. Coach Myers opted to pinch hit Jennifer Soria for Lucy Aubrecht. Soria hit a line drive over the head of the right fielder to drive in Coyle and win the game for the Sun Devils.

“I was just focused on hitting the ball on the ground just putting it in play, definitely nervous,” Soria said.  Aubrecht was hitless in three at bats on the day. “I’m not afraid to let somebody else do it…you play hunches,” Myers said. “This is a team and you better be ready because you may have the game on the line when you have your next opportunity.” Myers also said he talked to Soria and expressed his excitement for her. He was proud of the way the freshman played throughout the weekend. “She had a good at bat she got a pitch to hit with 2 strikes and squared that thing up pretty darn good,” Myers said.

The University of North Dakota comes into Tempe this Thursday to play the Sun Devils starting at 7 p.m. MT. ASU plays in the Wilson/DeMarini Invitational next weekend which includes another game against North Dakota as well as games against Binghamton, East Carolina, North Carolina, and Baylor.

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