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ASU softball comes up short in series opener at No. 3 Arizona

The Wildcats' two-out hitting proved too much for the Sun Devils in Friday's series opener

ASU senior short stop Chelsea Gonzales (11) catches the ball and throws it to first base in a softball game versus Oregon State University at Alberta B. Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday, March 26, 2017. The Sun Devils won the game 11-0.
ASU senior short stop Chelsea Gonzales (11) catches the ball and throws it to first base in a softball game versus Oregon State University at Alberta B. Farrington Stadium in Tempe, Arizona on Sunday, March 26, 2017. The Sun Devils won the game 11-0.

No. 23 ASU softball dropped the first of three road games against No. 3 Arizona by a final score of 4-3 on Friday afternoon in Tuscon.

For the Sun Devils (27-15, 6-10 Pac-12), this loss marks their third straight defeat after picking up five consecutive wins beforehand. 

At the game's outset, it looked as though junior pitcher Breanna Macha (10-7, 1.57 ERA) could be back to her old self after some recent struggles. But after quickly retiring the first two batters she faced, the Wildcats (46-4, 16-3 Pac-12) struck for two runs in the first inning to take an early lead.

Macha, who allowed six earned runs in her four innings of last weekend's Utah series, went for six innings, allowing two earned and giving up six hits while striking out four on Friday.

The first of those runs came on a pair of ASU fielding errors that allowed Arizona senior third baseman Katiyana Mauga to score from first base, while the second came on a single by freshman infielder Jessie Harper.

A similar case allowed the Sun Devils to put a run on the board in the top of the second, as senior shortstop Chelsea Gonzales made her way home on a throwing error to cut the lead to 2-1. On the ensuing at-bat, ASU tied things up on a sacrifice fly off of the bat of freshman infielder Emma Ramelot.

In the third, ASU took its first lead, 3-2, with Gonzales this time driving in the run on a single to right center.

The lead didn't last very long, as another bit of two-out hitting helped the Wildcats tie the game in the bottom of the inning on a single.

It wasn't until the bottom of the fifth that the tie was broken – and broken for good – as Arizona broke a string of five consecutive outs recorded by Macha to pick up another two out RBI. 

The next game of this territorial cup series is set for 6 p.m. Saturday night in Tucson. 


Reach the reporter at jeff.griffith21@asu.edu or follow @Jeff_Griffith21 on Twitter.

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