Kentucky's record-setting softball season came to an end Sunday as Arizona State won Game 2 of the best-of-three series in the Tempe Super Regional to clinch a spot in the Women's College World Series.
Haley Steele went 3-for-4 and hit a two-run home run in the top of the seventh to turn a one-run game into a 5-2 winning margin for the fifth-seeded Sun Devils.
Kentucky (41-21) set a new school record for wins during the 2013 season.
Arizona State, who won Saturday's opener 5-4, scored first for the second consecutive day, grabbing a 1-0 lead on a single and stolen base by Alix Johnson, followed by an RBI single from Cheyenne Coyle against UK starter Kelsey Nunley.
Kentucky tied the game at 1-1 in the bottom of the second on Nikki Sagermann's solo home run, the Wildcats' fifth long ball in two days against ASU starter Dallas Escobedo.
The Sun Devils reclaimed the lead in the third after Coyle drew a leadoff walk and moved up on a groundout by Amber Freeman. Steele followed with an RBI single to make it 2-1.
A leadoff walk in the bottom of the third helped UK tie the game at 2-2. Ginny Carroll reached on the free pass in a pinch hitting role, moved to second on a sacrifice bunt by Sylver Samuel, and scored on an RBI single by Kara Dill.
Back came Arizona State in the fifth inning with Johnson singling and moving to second on a UK error. After a walk to Coyle, Freeman bunted both runners into scoring position, setting the stage for Steele's RBI single to make it 3-2.
ASU added two insurance runs in the seventh inning after Nunley walked Coyle with one out before Steele blasted a two-run homer down the left-field line.
Escobedo earned her second win in as many days and improved to 30-4 on the season. She limited UK to two runs on four hits and three walks while striking out five.
Nunley took the loss for UK, but set a new school record for wins with 27 this season. She allowed five runs on seven hits and five walks.
Kentucky's Rachel Lawson also became the winningest head coach in school history after leading the Cats to their fifth NCAA Tournament appearance.
Arizona State ends UK Softball's season
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