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Tale of two victories: The nail-biter and the blowout

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Elizabeth Caporuscio slammed a home run on Friday, her first of the year. (Photo: Allyson Cummings/WCSN)

The Arizona State Sun Devils’ softball team was back on the field on Friday night sweeping its double-header to keep the winning streak rolling.

In the first game, ASU took on Northern Iowa (3-3), earning a 5-3 victory in a game that needed some late game heroics from Cheyenne Coyle who drove in the eventual game-winning run in the seventh inning.

Northern Iowa got on the board first in the fifth, but the Sun Devils were able to snag the lead in the top of the sixth scoring three runs on three hits. Mackenzie Popescue pitched five solid innings before allowing a home run to Gina Brown which cut ASU’s lead to one. On the night, Popescue’s line ended at five innings with two earned runs, four strikeouts and a walk.

“Mac pitched exceptional,” Coach Clint Myers said speaking about Popescue’s outing. “She pitched ahead and with confidence,” Myers added. Popescue would not get the win however as she was pulled from the game following the Brown homer.

Exit Popescue, enter Dallas Escobedo (who had already recorded a save this season). She promptly gave up a game-tying home run to Kristen Lock, her first home run allowed on the season.

“[I am] disappointed in myself,” Escobedo said.

Her teammates would pick her up in the top of the seventh, thanks to RBI’s from Cheyenne Coyle and Amber Freeman that gave the Sun Devils a 5-3 lead with Escobedo taking the circle in the bottom of the inning.

Escobedo responded well after giving up the tying run by striking out the final six batters she faced en route to earning her fifth victory of the season.

“We showed good character coming back to win,” Myers said.

After the wild game one, ASU took on Michigan State who came in with a record of 2-3.

Amber Freeman was the story, as she drove in five runs with a home run in the Sun Devils’ 9-2 victory over the Spartans.

“I didn’t feel it off the bat,” Freeman said of her massive three-run homer to center that put the game away for ASU. “Those are the best ones,” Freeman joked.

The Sun Devils also received offense from sophomore standout Elizabeth Caporuscio, who smashed her first home run of the season in the second. Her .448 batting average ranks fourth on the team.

Dallas Escobedo earned the victory for the Devils, throwing a complete game while only allowing two runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts. In Escobedo’s nine combined innings on Friday she struck out 16, bringing her season total to 55 in just 33.2 innings.

“Tomorrow is a new day,” Escobedo said, referring to her rough outings that included two home runs in two games. “I thought the fences were farther,” Escobedo said

The Sun Devils will take their 9-0 record into tomorrow with yet another double-header against Illinois Chicago and Illinois State on Saturday. First pitch is slated for 3 p.m. with game two immediately following.

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