No. 21 ASU softball takes series from Cal

TEMPE, Ariz. — The No. 21 Arizona State softball team won its first conference series of 2015 over No. 12 Cal two games to one, after a 11-6 victory over the Bears on Sunday.

After going down a run in the second inning, the Sun Devils (22-10, 3-2) erupted for 11 runs in their final four innings of offense, overpowering the Bears (23-6, 2-4) to capture the series.

Amber Freeman hit her 50th career home run at ASU, this one a two-run blast in the four-run bottom of the sixth. Sierra Rodriguez also added a home run of her own, the second of the series for her, a solo shot to right field. Rodriguez went 2-for-4 on the day with four RBI.

Every starter in the ASU lineup finished with at least one hit, led by Freeman and Chelsea Rodriguez each going 3-for-4 in the contest.

Breanna Macha picked up where she left off in her last start on Friday against the Bears, earning her team-leading 11th win while giving up five earned runs and scattering nine hits in seven innings of work. Cal had two solo home runs in the final two innings off the freshman Macha, but ASU had already built a considerable lead at that point.

Cal struck first in the second inning when third baseman Taurie Pogue hit an RBI single to left field, scoring Kobie Pettis from third to give the Bears the early lead. Macha eventually got herself out of the jam with a ground ball double play, one of the two she rolled on the day, and one of the five total for the Devils’ defense in the series.

ASU responded in the bottom half of the third, putting up a crooked three runs. Rodriguez notched one of her four RBI on the day on a ground out to second with the bases loaded. Next up was Elizabeth Caporuscio who knocked in two runs on a single to right center.

The Devils then added another four runs in the fourth. With the bases loaded, Rodriguez smoked a double down the right field line that would have plated all three base runners had it not been for Abby Spiel missing third base, resulting in an out upon appeal. Gonzalez — who went 3-for-4 on the day — picked up an RBI two batters later on her single to score Rodriguez from second. Freeman then picked up her first RBI of the contest with a base hit, scoring Gonzales. 

Cal added four runs over the fifth and sixth innings off Macha, cutting the Devils’ lead down to two. But the ASU offense erupted for four more runs in the bottom half of the sixth; three runs coming on the Rodriguez and Freeman homers, and one more coming on an RBI single from Haley Steele.

Macha closed out the game in the seventh, despite allowing a solo home run.