In two blowout victories over Pittsburgh, ASU softball coach Clint Myers earned career win No. 400.
“I’m real old,” Myers said. “I didn’t even know it until they announced it. I’m excited that I’ve been here long enough to have the opportunity. I thank all the players. I tell them every day I’ll give them credit for every win and I’ll take (the blame in) the losses.”
ASU (23-1) lost for the first time last weekend to Baylor. The Sun Devils responded by outscoring Pittsburgh 18-2 in two games.
“You can learn from it, but you can’t dwell from it,” junior shortstop Cheyenne Coyle said.
ASU jumped ahead early in both games and never looked back. The Sun Devils scored 13 runs combined in the first innings against Pittsburgh (9-8), six in the first game and seven in the nightcap.
“That’s one of our main goals as a team, we want start off good, let the (opposing) team know they can’t deal with us,” sophomore outfielder Elizabeth Caporuscio said.
In the early game, a 10-0 win, Caporuscio provided the heavy lifting with five RBIs, including a three-run homer.
Pittsburgh committed four errors in the first game and produced only three hits offensively. Defensively, the Panthers struggled just as much in the second game by making four more errors.
While ASU’s bats certainly came to play against Pittsburgh, they took advantage against a slew of defensive miscues and mistakes.
In the early game, ASU scored three unearned runs and capitalized on six walks. Four of the six runners reaching on a free pass scored.
In the later game, which started nearly an hour ahead of schedule, ASU pounded out 13 hits in an 8-2 win.
Coyle, who was celebrating her 21st birthday, went 3-for-3 at the plate in the nightcap, including the go-ahead two-run homer to right in the first inning.
ASU’s lineup fared well against Panther sophomore pitcher Alexa Larkin. ASU’s first loss of the season came against a lefty, and Larkin happens to throw left-handed.
“I think it’s all your mental approach to the game,” Caporuscio said. “It doesn’t really change except for you getting your pitch and hitting to your zone. ‘Oh it’s a lefty, Oh it’s a righty’, no we’re still going to look for our pitch.”
The game was poised to end early, but redshirt freshman Jenna Makis allowed a home run to lead off the fifth inning, preventing a run-rule victory. She allowed another homer to begin the sixth, and junior pitcher Dallas Escobedo re-entered the game.
Escobedo was brilliant for ASU. In her last start, she was pulled after three innings due to giving up too many home runs.
Against Pittsburgh, she didn’t give them a chance to hit the ball. In six innings, Escobedo faced 23 hitters. She struck out 15 of them, including 11 in the first four innings.
Reach the reporter at Justin.Janssen@asu.edu