Escobedo throws no-hitter as ASU wins NCAA opener
MAY 17, 2013 8:56p ET
Escobedo (26-4) had five strikeouts in a complete-game effort, giving up three walks and hitting one batter while allowing no earned runs for her second career solo no-hitter.
Escobedo's previous solo no-hitter came on Feb. 24, 2012, against Central Connecticut State. She also pitched a combined no-hitter with Alexis Cooper on Feb. 10 of this season against Boise State.
Amber Freeman and Haley Steele each had solo home runs in the contest, while Steele added in impressing leaping grab in the seventh inning to preserve the no-hitter.
Despite the no-hitter, ASU fell behind by two runs early. Escobedo walked Devin Caldwell in the top of the first and followed that by hitting Markesha Collins to put two runners on. An outfield error then allowed both to come home, giving San Jose State (42-16) an early 2-0 lead. Both runs were unearned.
Recently anointed the Pac-12 Player of the Year, Freeman answered for the Sun Devils in the bottom of the first with her 17th homer of the season, a two-out solo shot to left to cut the deficit to one.
An RBI sacrifice fly from Elizabeth Caporuscio in the bottom of the second plated Bethany Kemp and evened the score.
ASU went ahead in the fifth inning, when San Jose State's first error of the game proved to be a costly one. A grounder off the bat of Cheyenne Coyle was thrown away, allowing Bailey Wigness to come around and give the Sun Devils a 3-2 lead.
Steele added some insurance in the bottom of the sixth with her 10th home run of the season, a solo shot to left. A couple batters later, Nikki Girard's double to the left-center gap allowed Sam Parlich to score from first, giving ASU a 5-2 lead that would hold up.
In all, seven of ASU's 10 hitters in the game recorded at least one hit as the Sun Devils won their postseason opener for the ninth consecutive year.
San Jose State starter Amanda Pridmore (29-10) took the loss, giving up five runs, four earned, on eight hits in six innings of action.