ASU softball breaks out of slump, routs Oregon State
MAR 16, 2014 12:04a ET
CORVALLIS, Ore. -- The seventh-ranked Arizona State softball team was looking to find its offense after a 3-2 loss to Oregon State on Friday night, and the Sun Devils did that and more Saturday, routing the Beavers 11-0 in five innings to even the weekend series.
Alix Johnson and Bethany Kemp each homered in a five-run fifth inning as ASU (27-4, 1-1 Pac-12) dominated Oregon State (10-16, 1-1 Pac-12) to earn its first Pac-12 victory of the season.
After managing just two runs against the Beavers the day before, the Sun Devils' bats came alive in the second game of the three-day series, as eight of the nine ASU starters had at least one hit.
Bailey Wigness batted in the two-hole for the first time this season and led the ASU offense with three hits and a walk, reaching base in all four at-bats and scoring two runs in the process. Haley Steele added three hits in four at-bats with two RBI while Kemp led the team with four RBI while going 2 for 3 with a walk.
Mackenize Popescue was just as impressive in the circle, pitching a complete-game shutout to earn her team-leading 14th win of the season. Popescue struck out three and walked two as she picked up her third shutout of the year.
ASU doubled its offensive output from Friday's game in the first inning Saturday. Alix Johnson reached on a leadoff walk and was advanced on a masterful bunt hit by Wigness. An Amber Freeman walk set up Steele's RBI single to left field to plate Johnson and give the Sun Devils an early 1-0 lead.
With two outs and the bases loaded, Kemp drew an RBI walk to extend ASU's lead to 2-0, bringing up Elizabeth Caporuscio, who hit a two-RBI laser to center field to give ASU a 4-0 lead after one inning.
After scoreless second and third innings, the Sun Devils extended their lead in the fourth. Wigness reached on a leadoff walk, and back-to-back singles by Freeman and Steele loaded the bases for Cheyenne Coyle, who hit an RBI single. Kemp would follow that up with a single to left field to score Freeman and give the Sun Devils a 6-0 advantage.
ASU put the game away in the fifth, as Johnson set the tone for the inning with a leadoff solo shot to right field, her sixth homer of the year. That brought up Wigness, who reached for the fourth time of the game on a single to shortstop and advanced on a throwing error. Steele brought Wigness home with a single to center field and was replaced by pinch runner Allie Butterfield.
In the ensuing at-bat, Coyle rocketed a ball to the fence in left-center field, bringing home Butterfield. Kemp would bring Coyle home and wrap up the scoring with her team-leading eighth home run of the season to left field to make it 11-0.