On Sunday afternoon, as temperatures continued to heat up near triple digits, the Sun Devil offense cooled off.
After scoring 21 runs in the first two games against No. 10 Cal, ASU needed some help from the Golden Bears defense to squeak out a 5-3 Victory at Farrington Stadium.
“When you get out hit and still win that means certain things are going on and we even did without a home run today,” Head Coach Clint Myers said.
Despite getting out hit seven to five, the Sun Devils still impressed their California rival in the circle with the tandem of game winner Dallas Escobedo and Mackenzie Popescue, who earned the save. Escobedo threw six innings while allowing two runs and striking out a personal Pac-12 season high 11 batters.
The only two runs allowed by Escobedo on Sunday came in the second inning on two solo homers by Breana Kostreba and Vanessa Alvarez. Escobedo has now allowed 28 round trippers this season.
“[I was] able to shake it off (the two home runs) and throw my pitches and hit my corners,” Escobedo said.
Escobedo would then send down eight batters in a row after allowing the home run to Alvarez. That stretch of great pitching by Escobedo kept the score at 2-1 and allowed the Sun Devil offense time to regroup and eventually take the lead in the third inning.
Cal starter Nisa Ontiveros allowed five runs to cross but only one was earned. California shortstop Cheyenne Cordes committed two errors in the third inning.
In the third inning with runners on first and second and two outs, Devils Nikki Girard hit a sharp grounder to Cordes that got by her into left field and a misplay by left fielder Khala Taylor then allowed two runs to score which put ASU up 5-2.
“We hit some balls pretty well to put the pressure on the defense,” Myers said. “Those were tough chances but Beth and Nikki hit them both hard,”
With the win on Sunday, the Sun Devils completed a sweep of the California Golden Bears which kept them within two games of conference-leading Oregon.
“The Utah series was a wakeup call for us,” Escobedo said. “We wanted to come in strong after a great week of practice and carry out [our game plan],”
ASU will travel to Tuscon next weekend for a three game series against the University of Arizona.