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ASU softball defeats rival, picks up first series victory over UA since 2015

ASU swept its Pac-12 series with rival UA for the first time since 2012

20200214 Softball ASU v ISU

ASU now-senior infield Bella Loomis (10) throws the ball toward first base against Illinois State University on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020, at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium on the Tempe campus.

No. 13 ASU softball defeated No. 8 UA 4-3 in extra innings and picked up its first Pac-12 series sweep against its rival since 2012.

Neither team was able to put a run on the board in their first at-bats, but in the bottom of the second inning, the Sun Devils struck first. 

After UA redshirt junior starting pitcher Hanah Bowen hit junior designated player Yannira Acuña, senior first baseman DeNae Chatman hit a two-run home run to centerfield.

In the top of the fourth inning, UA redshirt senior third baseman Malia Martinez tied the game up with a two-run shot of her own to left field. 

Sophomore pitcher Lindsay Lopez replaced starting freshman pitcher Allison Royalty in the circle after the home run. Lopez pitched the final 4.2 innings, allowed one run and struck out five. 

ASU did not waste any time taking back the lead as Chatman hit her second home run of the day in the bottom of the fourth inning.

"I was just going in there with confidence, really sticking to my zone and putting a good swing on the ball," Chatman said.

In the top of the seventh inning, the Wildcats found themselves down one, with two outs and a runner on second. Then, redshirt senior catcher Dejah Mulipola came up big for UA as she tied the game up with an RBI double.

The Sun Devils were not able to put a run on the board in the bottom of the seventh and the game went to extra innings.

After holding the Wildcats scoreless in the top of the eighth inning, sophomore right fielder Jazmine Hill got on base with a single. Then, the Pac-12 leader in RBI's and fifth-year senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth walked off the game with an RBI double down the left-field line. 

"Going into my last at-bat I knew what I was gonna get," Maddi Hackbarth said. "I just knew that I had to keep it simple, have some fun, get a good pitch and put barrel on it like I've been doing all season."

Although this series win was ASU head coach Trisha Ford's first over UA since taking over the program back in 2016, she was quick to deflect the credit to her team.

"I'm just so proud and happy for our team. They worked hard (and) it took a lot of different players," Ford said. "I thought Allison (Royalty) and Lindsay (Lopez) pitched their tails off and kept us in the game and I think we just battled."

ASU will next head to California to take on Cal with the first game of the series set for 3:00 p.m. MST on Friday.

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