#3 Arizona St 5, #11 UW 4

SEATTLE - Kylee Lahners grounded into a fielder's choice with the tying and winning runs aboard in the bottom of the seventh inning, allowing third ranked Arizona State to escape with a 5-4 win over 11th ranked Washington at Husky Softball Stadium on a cloudy Sunday afternoon.

With the win the Sun Devils (14-2 Pac-12, 42-5) swept the three game series against the Huskies (7-13,36-14) and spoiled Senior Day for Jenna Clifton, Kimi Pohlman, Taylor Smith and Nikia Williams, who made their final regular season home appearance.

The Huskies trailed 5-3 going into the last of the seventh when Pohlman led off with an infield single off the glove of pitcher Dallas Escobedo. Victoria Hayward then grounded out to short with Pohlman advancing to second. After Kaitlin Inglesby hit a soft liner to short for the second out, Williams came to the plate.

Escobedo had the Huskies down to their final strike on a 2-2 count, but Williams managed to foul away three of the next five pitches and take balls three and four for her second walk of the game. Shawna Wright grounded a sharp single to center to score Pohlman and make it 5-4.

Lahners, who had only a single to her credit despite hitting the ball hard in each of her three previous at-bats, then hit the first pitch to shortstop Katelyn Boyd, who fielded the ball and flipped it to Bailey Wigness for the game ending force at second.

Arizona State began Sunday's game where it left off on Saturday. After scoring four runs in their last at-bat for a stunning 6-3 win the previous game, the Sun Devils took a quick 3-0 lead in the top of the first.

With one out Alix Johnson walked and scored on a line double to right by Annie Lockwood. Lockwood moved to third on a single by Elizabeth Caporuscio and scored on a sacrifice fly by Haley Steele to make it 2-0. Caporuscio took second on a wild pitch by Inglesby and scored the third run on a bloop single to right center by Amber Freeman.

The Huskies got two runs back in the bottom of the first, capitalizing on the wildness of Escobedo, who loaded the bases by walking Hayward and Williams and hitting Wright with a pitch. Lahners then hit a hard grounder on a 2-2 pitch into center to plate Hayward and Williams for a 3-2 score.

Arizona State upped the lead back to 4-2 in the top of the second when Wigness led off with a walk and scored on a ringing opposite field double to left center by Boyd. After Johnson walked for the second time on four pitches, the Huskies brought in Bryana Walker to relieve Inglesby in the circle. Walker walked Lockwood to load the bases but got out of the inning by retiring Caporuscio on a popout to second, Steele on a foul out to first, and striking out Freeman swinging.

Despite yielding what proved to be the eventual winning run in the fifth on infield singles by Steele and Bethany Kemp, Walker pitched well enough to give her teammates a chance to come back. Wright led off the bottom of the sixth with her fifth homer of the season, a towering shot over the NCAA Regionals plaque in left center to make it 5-3.

Escobedo (16-4) got the complete game win despite allowing four runs on seven hits and five walks. She hit a batter while striking out only one. Inglesby (18-9) got the loss, allowing four runs on four hits and four walks in only one plus inning. She did not strike out anyone. Walker went six innings in relief, allowing one run on five hits. She walked one and struck out two.

For the departing Husky seniors, Pohlman went 2 for 4 with a run scored. Williams walked twice and also scored a run. Smith walked as a pinch hitter, and Clifton got the start defensively in left field.

The Huskies next finish the regular season with a three game Pac-12 series at Stanford May 4-6. After a bye week they then expect to resume action in the NCAA Tournament.

Dawgman.com Top Stories