In 77.1 innings pitched this season, Escobedo has 120 strikeouts and has allowed just 42 hits. Of those 42 hits, 14 were home runs.
Escobedo is not worried about it.
“It’s going to happen,” Escobedo said. “It’s happened a million times already this season. The only stat I’m going to look at is the last inning of the end of the season the last game if we get that win. I’m not worried. Home runs are part of the game.”
The high home run total is not a new phenomenon for Escobedo. The frequency of home runs Escobedo allowed has increased throughout her ASU career.
During her freshman year in 2011, she gave up one home run for every 40.2 at-bats. Last season, it took hitters 27.2 at-bats to produce a home run off Escobedo. This year, for every 19.6 at-bats one resulted in a home run.
Those numbers do not factor the soft schedule ASU faced in the early season. Through 22 games, the Sun Devils faced two teams currently ranked in the top 25.
Between the 2012 and 2013 seasons, the outfield fences at Farrington Stadium were pushed back. In left and right field, the wall moved from 192 feet away from home plate to 202 feet away.
ASU hasn’t played a game away from home yet.
Myers said with the hard-throwing pitcher, anytime a team can square up and elevate a ball, it has a chance to leave the park.
“I think we just need to spot it a little better, but I’m not as concerned about the pitching as you might think,” Myers said. “Dallas is a competitor. She works really hard.”
Popescue awarded no-hitter
When junior pitcher Mackenzie Popescue left the field against North Dakota March 1, it felt like a normal game.
ASU cruised to a seemingly ordinary 8-0 win. It was ASU’s 19th consecutive win to open the season. Popescue pitched an efficient five-inning shutout and only needed 65 pitches to complete the game.
Popescue allowed one hit. So it seemed, until after the game.
A first-inning ruling was changed from a hit to an error and therefore Popescue completed a no-hitter.
On the play in question, North Dakota junior first baseman D Jantzer bunted to ASU freshman first baseman Nikki Girard.
Girard came off the bag at first and tossed to senior second baseman Sam Parlich, who was covering at first. Jantzer barely beat out the throw.
The play was ruled a hit in the first inning. After the game, it was changed to an error. The play, as of March 4, still shows up as a hit on ASU’s GameTracker.
It was strange way to record a no-hitter. The call was put in the hands of the official scorer, and it was changed after the game.
For Popescue, it was her second career no-hitter and the 24th all-time for ASU.
Popescue’s first career no-hitter came in 2012 against Wichita State. That game also lasted five innings.
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