No. 8 Softball Falls In 11 Innings To No. 2 Arizona, 3-0
April 13, 2001
TUCSON, Ariz. - In a classic battle between in-state rivals, in which the game lasted 11 innings, the eighth-ranked Arizona State softball team (30-10, 5-2 Pac-10) fell 3-0 to second-ranked Arizona (40-4, 4-2 Pac-10) tonight in front of 2,623 in Tucson, Arizona.
Erica Beach started the game, but got into early trouble by walking the first two batters. After getting one out, Kirsten Voak relieved Beach. Voak then got the next two batters to pop up to the infield to end the threat. Beach re-entered in the second inning and continued the no-hitter through five and a third innings
ASU put its first runner on in the third inning when Jennifer Forner reached on an error by the first baseman. But a strikeout and a fielder's choice to retire Forner at second ended any chance of getting on the board. UA had another threat going in the fifth with runners on first and second with only one out, but Beach retired the next two batters on fly balls.
In the sixth inning with two outs, ASU's Missy Hixon broke up Arizona pitcher Jenny Finch's no hitter by hitting the ball into right field. ASU was unable to score as Nichole Thompson flied out to short.
In the bottom of the inning, Voak replaced Beach. After one out, UA's Nicole Giordano singled to left to also break up ASU's no hitter, however, Voak retired the next two batters.
In the top of the seventh, Kara Brun launched a shot to deep left field, as the UA outfielder caught the ball up against the 200-foot fence.
The Sun Devils had another golden chance to score in the ninth inning as they loaded the bases. With two outs Brun walked. Then Phalen Wright singled to center field and advanced to second as Brun advanced to third. Beach was then intentionally walked to load the bases, but the next batter Kristen Swetel struck out swinging.
The Wildcats returned the favor as they also loaded the bases in the bottom of the ninth, but Voak struck out Mackenzie Vandergeest to stave off the threat once again.
However, in the bottom of the 11th, Finch cranked a three-run home run over the center field fence to win the game for the Wildcats.
Voak (12-4) suffered the loss, going five and two-thirds innings with five strikeouts. Up next, Arizona State will take to the field again against Arizona on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.