ASU softball starts slow, drops Pac-12 opener with loss at No. 6 Washington

After allowing four runs in the first, the No. 21 Sun Devils fell in their first conference game of the year

Fresh off of a dominant sweep of Nebraska, No. 21 ASU softball dropped a tough loss in its Pac-12 opener, falling in the first of three weekend road games against the No. 6 Washington Huskies.

With their 6-4 loss Saturday afternoon in Seattle, the Sun Devils snapped a six-game win streak, while the Huskies extended their streak to an impressive eight wins.

ASU (19-6, 0-1 Pac-12) looked like it was primed to be blown out after a two-out Washington (22-3, 1-0 Pac-12) rally opened up a 4-0 advantage for the Huskies in the first inning.

A quick response, however, allowed the Sun Devils to draw back into the game with three runs in the top of the second, on a two-run double by freshman outfielder Brianna Wise followed by an RBI single from sophomore outfielder Skylar McCarty.

In the innings that followed, both pitchers — senior Breanna Macha (6-4, 1.69 ERA) for ASU and sophomore Taran Alvelo (4-0, 1.83 ERA) for Washington — calmed down and found their rhythm. With that, the offenses slowed down, going scoreless through the third and fourth frames.

Despite her tough first inning, Macha finished the game with three earned runs on seven hits — three of those earned runs and four of those hits were recorded in the opening frame — and three strikeouts in six innings.

In the fifth, the Sun Devils put together a string of one-out singles to tie the game on an RBI hit by senior catcher Sashel Palacios, but failed to capitalize with the bases loaded and two outs, keeping things tied at four through five innings.

Washington responded in the bottom half of the same inning, bringing two runs across with two outs to regain the lead for the final time.

ASU will be back in action with a doubleheader at Washington Sunday afternoon, with the first game starting at 10 a.m.

Reach the reporter at or follow @Jeff_Griffith21 on Twitter.

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