ASU softball overpowers Utah in mercy win
The Arizona State softball team used 10 hits Friday night to power past Utah in a 13-1 victory in five innings.
Alix Johnson went a perfect 3 for 3 at the plate with three runs scored, two doubles and one RBI, marking the fourth time in her career she's recorded at least three hits in a single game.
The Sun Devils (43-5, 15-2 Pac-12) started strong offensively, scoring four runs in the first and second frames to take a commanding 8-0 lead.
In the first, Johnson’s double to left-center plated Katelyn Boyd from first, and Utah miscue allowed Johnson to score three batters later to make it 2-0. Amber Freeman and Sam Parlich would bring in the next two runs to close out the opening frame at 4-0. It was déjà vu for ASU in the second, with four runs again crossing the plate on three hits. Elizabeth Caporuscio tallied two RBIs with a single to deep-right center, and Haley Steele followed with a two-run homer to left-center, her eighth of the year.
The bottom of the fourth saw four pinch hitters add to the damage, with the substitutes combining for two of the five runs, two walks, one hit and one RBI. Back-to-back walks for Nikole Afusia and Christina Zambrana set up Bethany Kemp for an RBI single to right-center. Zambrana scored later on a wild pitch, giving the Sun Devils a 9-0 cushion.
Annie Lockwood followed with a huge home run that cleared both outfield fences and brought around Boyd and Johnson for ASU’s eventual final tally of 13 runs.
Lockwood has now connected for nine long balls on the year and 41 in her career, putting her fourth on the ASU all-time list. She also is fifth in career RBIs (167) and is tied for 19th in single-season RBIs with 47.
Jackie Sweet scored the lone run for Utah (26-24, 1-18 Pac-12) in the top of the fifth on a homer, but Dallas Escobedo cruised the rest of the way en route to the win. The sophomore fanned five Utes, three in the opening frame, to improve to 17-4.
Naomi Amu takes the loss for Utah, falling to 4-4.