Arizona Caps Off Doubleheader Split with 15-1 Win
TEMPE, Ariz. -- No. 8 Arizona and No. 13 Arizona State split Saturday's doubleheader, with each team recording a lopsided victory. The Sun Devils won the first game, 8-1, before Arizona earned its largest win over Arizona State since 1994 in a 15-1, five-inning win in the nightcap.
Arizona (27-7, 6-4 Pac-12) and Arizona State (27-11, 8-6 Pac-12) finish the series on Sunday at 1 p.m. MST.
Game 1: #13 Arizona State 8, #8 Arizona 1
Arizona State hit four two-run home runs and took Saturday's first game, 8-1.
UA starter Mariah Lopez (6-2) surrendered six runs on five hits over 4.0 innings. She fanned six. She was relieved by Devyn Netz in the fifth inning. The freshman allowed two runs on two hits over the final two innings of the game.
Arizona out-hit ASU in the game, but struggled again in clutch situations. After going 0-for-7 with runners in scoring position on Friday, the Wildcats went 1-for-8 in the first game on Saturday -- the lone hit was a Jessie Harper RBI single in the third. UA stranded eight in the game.
A two-run home run put the Sun Devils on top in the first inning before Jessie Harper cut the lead in half with an RBI single in the top of the third. ASU hit another two-run homer in the bottom half to take a 4-1 lead.
The Sun Devils added a four-spot in the fifth via a pair of two-run home runs.
Game 2: #8 Arizona 15, #13 Arizona State 1 (5 innings)
Arizona responded in a huge way in game 2 of the doubleheader, crushing Arizona State 15-1 in five innings in UA's biggest win over ASU since beating the Sun Devils 18-0 in 1994.
The Wildcats scored their 15 runs on just eight hits, taking advantage of nine walks issued by ASU pitcher Cielo Meza (6-3), who gave up 15 runs, 12 earned, over the five innings.
UA hit two home runs in the game -- Jessie Harper hit her 86th career homer, taking fifth place alone in NCAA history, shedding the three-way tie she sat in with Wildcats Leah Braatz and Laura Espinoza. She is now one shy of Stacie Chambers, who is fourth in NCAA history with 87 career homers. Allie Skaggs also homered in the game, a pinch-hit solo blast in the fifth.
Seven different Wildcats had RBI in the game, with Harper and Hannah Martinez leading the way with three apiece.
Janelle Meoño went 2-for-3 with a two-run double, extending her hitting streak to 20 games, the longest by a Wildcat since Chelsie Mesa's 22-game hitting streak in 2007.
In the circle, Alyssa Denham took a no-hitter into the fifth inning, but lost it with one out in the inning, when a bloop single ended the no-hit bid and then a two-out RBI double ended the shutuout. Denham improved to 14-5 on the season with the near-no-no. She struck out six and walked just one in the complete-game effort.
The Wildcats opened the scoring in the top of the first with a two-run Harper homer.
UA put up crooked numbers in both the third and fourth innings, plating five in the third and seven in the fourth.
In the third, UA loaded the bases with nobody out and used a Harper hit-by-pitch, a Sharlize Palacios RBI single, a Malia Martinez RBI single, and then run-scoring outs from both Carlie Scupin and Hannah Martinez to put up a five spot.
In the fourth, the Cats put up a seven-spot on just two hits. Following five free passes -- four walks and one HBP -- and an error, Hannah Martinez singled home two and Meoño doubled home two more to put the Cats up 14-0 after four.
Skaggs led off the top of the fifth with a solo homer.