Softball Drops Middle Game Against No. 13 ASU, 12-2
TEMPE, Ariz.- Utah softball (20-19, 4-7) dropped the middle game to Arizona State (30-5, 11-0) on Friday night in a 12-2 run rule decision. The Utes avoided being shut out in the top of the fifth-inning as Katie Faulk launched her fifth home run of the year, a two-run shot, deep to left center.
Senior arm Sydney Sandez started the game for Utah in the circle and certainly didn't have her best outing of the season, throwing 2.2 innings, giving up nine runs on nine hits, two of those unearned and striking out one.
Four Utes picked up a hit in the game and Faulk lead the lineup scoring a run and collecting two RBI.
Final: Sun Devils 12, Utes 2
Sandez was given the ball in the circle and in similar fashion to the beginning of last night's game, the top of the Utah lineup went down in order and ASU jumped out to a fast 1-0 lead, hitting a home run to straight away center field. The Sun Devils kept it going with a walk and a pair of singles to extend the ASU lead, 2-0 with no outs.
ASU loaded the bases after their third consecutive single and a fielder's choice at home recorded the first out of the inning for Sandez. A batter's interference followed for the second out and Sandez fielded a soft ground ball near the first base line and took care of it herself, tagging the runner for the third out of the inning.
Once again, the Utes were retired in order and ASU scored two more runs off two doubles, giving them the 4-0 advantage.
The Sun Devil bats continued to be hot hitting both a three-run and two-run home run in the bottom of the third to push the lead to 9-0 and bring the run rule into play.
Haley Denning picked up her 50th hit of the season and put the Utes aboard for the first time in the fourth-inning. Ellessa Bonstrom sent a shot through the right infield gap to move Denning into scoring position on third. But nothing was made of the opportunity as the following batters grounded out to end the frame.
CC Cook replaced Sandez in the circle in the bottom of the fourth, making her first appearance on the mound this season. Cook flied and popped out the first two batters she faced, but gave up a single and the fourth home run of the game as ASU added two more to the lead. A walk and back-to-back singles followed as the Sun Devils were able to add another, extending the lead to 12-0.
Katie Faulk put the Utes on the board in the fifth crushing a two-run homer over the left center wall and tied her career home runs in a season, cutting into the lead 12-2. But that would be all the damage Utah would do as the next two batters were retired to end the game.
The final game of the series starts tomorrow at 1 p.m. MDT, at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium. All games can be watched via live stream provided by ASU Athletics.
Live results will also be available for the contest and fans can keep up with live game action and highlights by following @Utah_Softball on Twitter.
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