Popescue throws no-hitter in ASU softball’s win

TEMPE, Ariz. — Arizona State’s Mackenzie Popescue threw her third career no-hitter as the Sun Devils routed Southern Miss 8-0 in five innings Friday night at Farrington Stadium.

Popescue, whose last no-hitter came against North Dakota in a five-inning win in 2013, is now 19-1 on the season. With the win, ASU improved to 40-7 on the year, while Southern Miss dropped to 22-26.

The Sun Devils plated three runs in the opening frame. Center fielder Alix Johnson got this started, leading off the inning with a single, and was eventually plated by third baseman Haley Steele on a double to center field. ASU capped the inning with a pair of runs on a Southern Miss error.

The Sun Devils went scoreless in the second frame before Steele hit a home run down the left-field line in the third to make it 4-0.

Popescue was perfect through the first three innings but got into a jam on the fourth, when the Golden Eagles put a pair of runners in scoring position. Popescue got out of it by getting an unassisted grounder to first base and a fly out to center field.

ASU extended its lead in the fifth. Amber Freeman led off the bottom of the fifth with a double, and Steele joined her on base via a walk. Both scored when left fielder Elizabeth Caporuscio doubled to left-center, giving the Sun Devils a 6-0 advantage.

Caporuscio came in to score on Southern Miss’ fourth error of the game, while first baseman Jennifer Soria reached on a fielder’s choice and took second on the play. Soria then stole third before scoring the game-ending run on another Golden Eagle error.

Samantha Robles took the loss for Southern Miss, falling to 6-12 on the season.