No. 24 Softball Splits Doubleheader With LMU

March 14, 2005

LOS ANGELES - The 24th-ranked Arizona State softball team (23-5) split a doubleheader against Loyola Marymount (10-9) on Monday, winning the first game, 2-1 and dropping the second, 4-1. Valerie Sevilla's two out, two-run home run in the sixth inning carried ASU to the win.

In the first game against LMU, ASU's offense struggled through the first five and two thirds innings. The Sun Devils had a chance to get something going in the fifth inning when Heidi Knabe led off with a single to left. Michelle Smith came in to pinch run, but couldn't move to second when Jen McCard popped a bunt up to the first baseman. Smith then stole second. LMU pitcher Samantha Lavino got Ashley Werschky to fly out for the second out. Bridgette Caron followed with a bunt for a single, but she turned a tried to head to second but was run down by the first baseman to end the inning.

The Devils finally got on the board in the top of the sixth inning. With two outs, Cowles was walked on four pitches allowing Sevilla to take Lavino's 1-1 pitch over the center field fence for the 2-0 lead. The home run was Sevilla's sixth of the year.

In the bottom of the sixth, LMU's Margo Pineda broke up ASU starting pitcher Desiree Serrano's no-hit bid on a two-out single to center field. Serrano nearly tallied the shutout, but with two outs in the bottom of the seventh inning, Tracey Cook hit a solo home run to left field. Serrano then struck put the final LMU batter to end the game.

Serrano allowed only two hits and two walks with nine strikeouts. Knabe had two of the four hits for the Devils

In the second game of the doubleheader, LMU scored the first run off ASU starting pitcher Cowles on one hit and one Sun Devil error. With one out, Pineda reached on an infield error and Danielle Kaminaka was walked. Caylin Hornish followed with a ground out to advance the runners to second and third. Brittany Bassett then singled to left to dive in Pineda for the 1-0 lead.

LMU tallied one more run in the bottom of third. Lisa Abbott reached on an infield single and moved to second when Pineda popped a bunt over the third baseman's head. Werschky then relived Cowles and gave up a wild pitch to move the runners up to second and third. Werschky threw another wild pitch as Abbott came home under the tag. Werschky then struck out the next two batters and got a fly out to end the inning.

ASU got one run back in the fourth inning without a hit. Ciri Bryan opened the inning with a walk. Sevilla then hit into a fielder's choice to third, but the second baseman could not make the catch to force out Bryan as the ball went into the outfield allowing Bryan to head to third. A ground out to third by Knabe drove in Bryan for the run.

However, the Lions got the run back, unearned, in the fifth inning and one more in the sixth to extend the lead to 4-1. The loss ended ASU's season long win streak at eight games.

Up next, the Sun Devils will head over to Fullerton to compete in the KIA Klassic on Wednesday. ASU opens pool play against Syracuse at 4:30 p.m.

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