Feb. 18, 2012
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TEMPE, Ariz. — No. 5/6 Arizona State got a walk-off three-run home run from Elizabeth Caporuscio in the bottom of the seventh inning to rally for a 5-2 victory over the University of Iowa softball team Saturday night in the Littlewood Classic.
Trailing 2-0 heading into their final at-bat, the Sun Devils put a five spot on the scoreboard at Farrington Stadium. Following a leadoff double from Danielle Muniz, pinch hitter Nikole Afusia drew a walk to put a pair of runners on base.
Zambrana scored ASU’s first run on an Iowa error before Annie Lockwood tied the game with a one-out double down the right field line. With two runners on, Caporuscio connected on a 1-0 pitch for a towering three-run long ball deep over the right field fence to end the contest.
“The biggest learning experience is we were in control, we were in command and that was our game,” said UI head coach Marla Looper. “The challenge is to slam that door shut and not to float it closed and to stay in charge. It’s a game of outs in those last three.”
Iowa pitcher Kayla Massey pitched in and out of trouble in the game before ASU got to her in the final inning. The sophomore got help from her defense with double plays to end the first and second innings. She got out of a bases loaded situation in the fourth.
The Hawkeyes put together a scoring rally of their own in the sixth inning off of ASU All-American Dallas Escobedo. Junior Johnnie Dowling led off the inning with a single to left field to break up Escobedo’s no-hitter, and freshman Megan Blank followed with an infield bunt single to put two runners on.
After Dowling was called out at a force at third base, senior Liz Watkins laid down a sacrifice bunt to move runners to second and third. Senior Katie Keim delivered with an RBI double down the right field line to give Iowa the 2-0 advantage.
“It’s nice to get your leadoff on. As soon as you get runners on, you can do a lot with them, especially with less than two outs,” said Looper. “The one person people don’t think is going to bunt, Liz, puts down a nice bunt to put them in scoring position. All it took was Katie driving that ball down the right field line to get two runs.”
Escobedo notched her second victory of the season for the Sun Devils, allowing two runs on four hits with 10 strikeouts. Massey endured her second defeat of the season, allowing five runs (four earned) in 6.1 innings with three strikeouts to seven walks.
Iowa (3-4) returns to action tomorrow morning, facing Central Michigan beginning at 10 a.m. (CT).
|#5/6 Arizona State 5, Iowa 2||1||2||3||4||5||6||7||R||H||E|
|#5/6 Arizona State (7-2)||0||0||0||0||0||0||5||5||5||1|
|W: Dallas Escobedo (ASU) 1-2|
|L: Kayla Massey (Iowa) 1-2|