#12 Softball Takes First Loss of the Season to Virginia Tech in Extra Innings

March 4, 2006

Las Vegas, Nev. - Day Two of the UNLV Invitational kicked off today in Las Vegas as the #12 Arizona State Sun Devils took on the Virgina Tech Hokies, which found the Devils' winning streak of 19 finally come to an end as the Hokies won in extra innings, 2-1.


The Sun Devils kept the Hokies quiet in the first inning as Rhiannon Baca made a huge tag play at second-base, followed by a strikeout from Desiree Serrano and an awesome play at home with a huge throw from Michelle Smith in right to Heidi Knabe to save the inning and the Hokies from scoring.


From there the pitching battle began between ASU's Desiree Serrano and VT's Angela Tincher, who in VT's last game against Nevada had 26 strikeouts in 11 innings, which is the third highest in NCAA record.


Tincher came out with 16 strikeouts through all eight innings while giving up only two hits in the game, one to Kaitlin Cochran in the first and one to Jackie Vasquez in the third.


Serrano came out to battle Tincher with nine strikeouts through 7.1 innings keeping the Hokies scoreless though seven as well.


The Devils threatened to add some runs to the board in the fourth inning when they loaded the bases off of a walk and two batters hit by a pitch, though the Hokies were able to pull out of the inning unscathed with some key defensive plays as Tincher struck out one, and Rhiannon Baca's blast to second was hauled in followed by a ground out from Jen McCard.


The Devils threatened again in the sixth inning as Mindy Cowles found her way to third after stealing second and a wild pitch, though VT's Tincher made sure she never made it home as she struck out the next three batters, keeping the game tied at 0-0 going into the seventh.


Desiree Serrano remained on fire in the seventh though as she struck out two Hokies and the third popped up to first giving the Devils their last at-bats to try and keep the game out of extra innings.


The Devils were unable to answer though as Angela Tincher kept them at bay striking out two in the seventh and a ground out to send it to extra innings.


In extra innings with the international tie-break rule placing a runner on second, the Hokies advanced the runner to third with a sacrifice bunt from Alisia Narodowski, followed by a single from Callie Rhodes and Erin Ota to hit home Crystal Beach.


The Hokies weren't finished yet though as with runners on first and third, Kelly Brown hit a single up the middle to score Callie Rhodes giving the Hokie's a 2-0 lead to defend in the eighth.


With pinch runner Jessica Mapes placed on second, lead-off batter Jackie Vasquez was able to reach first after a passed ball on the third strike, which also advanced Mapes to third.


Mindy Cowles stuck through a long at-bat to finally walk loading the bases, with Kaitlin Cochran to step up to hit a sacrifice fly to right field scoring Mapes and advacing Vasquez to third.


Ashley Werschky came in to pinch hit for Sharee Zaleski with the Devils winning streak on the line, but Tincher was too much for the Devil as she struck out looking to give the Devils their first loss of the season to put them at 19-1 while the Hokies advance to 12-2.


The Devils will look to come back strong in game two of today's doubleheader against host-team UNLV at 6:00 p.m.