#3 ASU 6, #11 UW 3

SEATTLE - Alix Johnson hit a two out grand slam in the top of the seventh inning to give third ranked Arizona State a dramatic 6-3 come from behind win over 11th ranked Washington before a raucous crowd of 1,122 at Husky Softball Stadium on an overcast Saturday afternoon.

The Huskies' Kaitlin Inglesby limited the hot hitting Sun Devils to only two runs through six innings and needed only three more outs to secure a win for the home team, but unfortunately they never came.

The seventh inning got off to a promising enough start when pinch hitter Lucy Albrecht flared to Hooch Fagaly at first base for one out, but after that the Sun Devils put the bats to work. Pinch hitter Nikole Afusia lined a single to center that Inglesby fortunately managed to dodge as it shot through the circle. Talor Haro then bunted for base hit to put Sun Devils at first and second. Bethany Kemp, another pinch hitter, grounded to Fagaly, who fielded the ball and fired a strike to Courtney Gano to force lead runner Kayla Ketchum at third and give the Huskies a second big out. That brought up Sun Devil leadoff batter, the dangerous Katelyn Boyd, who hit two homers, including a grand slam, in a Sun Devil victory in Friday's opener.

Inglesby fell behind in the count 2-0 but came back with two called strikes. That brought the partisan Husky crowd to its feet, hoping for one last strike. Boyd fouled the next pitch back and then looked at ball three before hitting a slow grounder to Kimberlee Souza at short, but her throw to first was not in time, loading the bases for Johnson. She took a ball and a strike before driving the next pitch over the wall in left center for a grand slam and a 6-3 Devil lead and largely silencing the crowd save for a few Sun Devil faithful in the first base stands.

As deflating as Johnson's blow was, the Huskies couldn't have asked for a better possible scenario to come back in the last of the seventh, as they had the 9-1-2 batters in the lineup against Mackenzie Popescue, and if they could get a couple runners aboard, then perhaps 3 hitter Inglesby or 4 hitter Niki Williams. It wasn't to be, however, as pinch hitter Taylor Smith grounded out to the pitcher, Kimi Pohlman grounded out to short, and Victoria Hayward struck out swinging to end the game.

Popescue (7-1) benefited from Johnson's slam to get the win in the circle. She went three and two thirds scoreless innings, allowing just one hit. She did not walk a batter and struck out two. Inglesby (18-8) suffered the loss despite pitching a complete game. She allowed six runs on eight hits. She walked two and struck out three.

The Huskies took a 3-0 lead against starter Hillary Bach in the bottom of the third courtesy of two homers including Souza's first career longball, a solo shot over the left field wall on a 1-2 count, and a two run shot from Inglesby, her 10th of the season, over the wall by the light post in left center.

The Sun Devils made it 3-1 in the fourth when they scored on a bases loaded groundout by Amber Freeman, and 3-2 in the fifth when Boyd doubled and scored on a triple by Johnson. Johnson's hit went off three different Huskies on its way to the wall in left. Pohlman raced over from center to field the ball, then threw out Johnson at home trying to stretch the triple into an inside the park home run.

The Huskies (7-12 Pac-12, 36-13) and the Devils (13-2,41-5) conclude the three game series at noon on Sunday. The game marks the final home appearance for Husky seniors Jenna Clifton, Pohlman, Smith and Williams.


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