Behind strong starts from junior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle and junior pitcher Dallas Escobedo, the ASU softball team started the Kajikawa Classic 3-0.
Escobedo pitched the opening game of the 2013 season like she was already in mid-season form.
Escobedo allowed one base runner all game and fanned 15 New Mexico hitters Thursday, guiding the ASU softball team to a 3-0 victory against the Lobos.
“She was attacking the zone,” ASU coach Clint Myers said. “When you have the stuff that she has, god, we’re hoping she has that every time she steps in the circle. It was nasty.”
The lone hit Escobedo allowed was in the fourth inning when New Mexico’s Katy Ingram hit a bloop single into no-man’s land between shortstop and shallow outfield.
Coming out of the dugout, ASU’s offense was stagnant most of the night. Junior outfielder Elizabeth Caporuscio delivered three hits, while the rest of the team produced two.
“I based my hitting off the center fielder,” Caporuscio said. “She would tend to move to which side of the plate the pitcher was throwing on so just strategy.”
Caporuscio scored the first run of the game in the second inning when freshman first baseman Nikki Girard grounded out.
In the fourth inning ASU padded their lead.
Senior second baseman Sam Parlich drove home pinch runner Kayla Ketchum with a single to left. Then Caporuscio scored on an illegal pitch to make the score 3-0.
That was all the run support Escobedo needed on a night where the Lobos couldn’t get on base or even put the ball in play.
Sun Devils sweep doubleheader
On Friday, junior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle piloted ASU’s offense with three homers in two games. Led by Coyle, the Sun Devils won 6-1 against CSU Northridge and 8-0 over Indiana.
With ASU already leading by a run in the third inning against CSU Northridge, Coyle put the Sun Devils in cruise control mode with a deep three-run homer to left field.
Two batters later, freshman first baseman Bethany Kemp hit a solo homer of her own, chasing pitcher Mia Pagano from the game.
On the mound, junior pitcher Mackenzie Popescue was working on a shutout until the sixth inning, when an error allowed another chance for the Matadors to get on the board.
A grounder slipped under sophomore third baseman Haley Steele’s glove, which put two on. Later in the inning, with two outs CSU Northridge broke the shutout with a single.
“This is the kind of performance that is going to make Mack (Popescue) better,” Myers said. “She’s going to gain confidence. She’s going to be in command of her position a little better.”
In the nightcap Coyle went three-for-three at the plate with two home runs.
Indiana’s starting pitcher Meaghan Murphy was roughed up and couldn’t escape the second inning.
“I feel like I was seeing the ball pretty well,” Coyle said. “It goes back to your preparation. When I get in trouble is when I overdue it and focus on things that aren’t controllable.”
In the circle, Escobedo was dominant again against Indiana. Escobedo allowed just two hits, no runs, and struck out 10 hitters.
In the bottom of the fifth inning ASU led by six runs when Kemp delivered the game-ending two-run double. The game ended in the fifth inning because of the mercy rule.
ASU will play two more games on Saturday and Sunday each to close the Kajikawa Classic.
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