ASU softball splits with McNeese, Northwestern

Box scores

TEMPE, Ariz. — The second day of the Kajikawa Classic saw the Arizona State softball team fall 3-1 to McNeese State but then bounce back for a 10-5 victory over Northwestern in the nightcap.

The Sun Devils moved to 3-1 overall with the loss to McNeese State (2-1) and the win over Northwestern (1-1) that was fueled by Dallas Escobedo’s 14-strikeout performance.

After two days of play, Annie Lockwood has an impressive .545 batting average (6 for 11) with a team-best two home runs and eight RBIs.

Game 1: McNeese 3, ASU 1

McNeese would be the first to put a run on the board, doing so in the bottom of the opening frame when Alanna DiVittorio came home unearned on a Dani Price single.

ASU answered in the third with its lone run of the game from Christina Zambrana, who had reached on an error. Zambrana made her way around the bases on a wild pitch and then was brought home on a Lockwood single to left-center.

Lockwood went 1 for 3 with one RBI and one walk.

McNeese collected its final two runs in the fourth off three hits. Hillary Bach came in for Mackenzie Popescue in the fourth to get the final out of the inning, with Popescue taking the loss and falling to 1-1. Bach pitched the final 2 1/3 innings with three strikeouts.

Tiffany Denham picked up the win for McNeese State, going the distance with four strikeouts.

Game 2: ASU 10, Northwestern 5

The Sun Devils opened with a bang, putting up five quick runs on three hits in the first inning to build a 5-0 cushion. Lockwood provided the big blow with a two-run homer, her 34th career long ball.

The Wildcats fought back, though, scoring two in the second and another in the third to close the gap to 5-3. But ASU responded, putting two on the board in the bottom of the inning when both Bailey Wigness and Zambrana came home on wild pitches to score unearned.

ASU was not quite finished, scoring a trio in the fifth to make it a safe 10-3 lead. With the bases loaded, Wigness came home on a Zambrana at-bat before Lockwood continued her strong start to the season, singling to left to bring around Talor Haro, who had reached on an error. Katelyn Boyd scored the final run of the inning when Amber Freeman reached on a fielder’s choice.

Northwestern scored two runs in the top of the sixth to bring the final tally to 10-5. Escobedo fanned 14 over seven innings for her first win of the season, while Meghan Lamberth (0-1) took the loss for NU after going six innings and striking out one.