Escobedo pitches ASU softball into regional final

TEMPE, Ariz. — The fourth-ranked Arizona State softball team is one win away from advancing to the Super Regional after a 2-0 victory over Georgia on Saturday in the second game of the NCAA Tempe Regional at Farrington Stadium.

Dallas Escobedo (27-4) went the distance for the second straight game, giving up just one hit and one walk while striking out 11 as the Sun Devils improved to 47-10 on the year. Chelsea Wilkinson (8-5) took the loss for the Bulldogs, who fell to 39-20 on the season.

Bailey Wigness had two hits and a run scored for ASU in addition to a sensational diving catch in the fifth inning to help out Escobedo.

Pac-12 Player of the Year Amber Freeman added her second home run in as many days and 18th of the season, a solo shot to left-center in the bottom of the sixth, to provide ASU with an insurance run.

Escobedo pitched five innings of hitless ball before an Anna Swafford infield single ended a streak of 18 2/3 of consecutive innings no-hit ball for the junior. Leading just 1-0 at the time, the hit brought the potential go-ahead run to the plate, but Wigness’ spectacular diving grab in foul territory on Paige Wilson’s high fly ball ended the inning.

Both pitchers threw the ball well early before Wigness broke through in the bottom of the third for the first hit of the game, a two-out single to right. Alix Johnson followed with a textbook bunt down the third-base line that allowed Wigness to advance allowed her to safely reach first.

Cheyenne Coyle then plated the first run of the game, as her infield blooper took a strange bounce and rolled into right field, giving ASU a 1-0 lead and giving Coyle her 60th RBI of the season.

Freeman’s home run in the sixth represented the game’s only other offense, as Escobedo shut down Georgia the rest of the way to put the Sun Devils in Sunday’s regional final against the winner of Saturday night’s elimination game.