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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball falls to Sun Devils in Tempe

    TEMPE – A record crowd of 2,615 saw ASU’s string of dominance over the Arizona softball team continue as the No. 8 Wildcats were defeated by No. 1 ASU 2-0 at Farrington Stadium on Friday. It guaranteed the Sun Devils a win in the season series for the first time since 1991.

    Sophomore Sarah Akamine got the start for the Wildcats as UA interim head coach Larry Ray elected to keep senior ace Taryne Mowatt on the bench to save her for Saturday’s game at noon.

    “”I thought that Sarah did a great job,”” Ray said. “”She hit her spots and the team played well behind her.””

    The game was not as close as the final score indicated, and without several sparkling defensive plays, it could have been worse. It took until the fifth inning for Arizona to advance a runner to second base and until the sixth to have two runners on base.

    Right fielder Cyndi Duran robbed ASU’s Mindy Cowles of her second home run of the game in the bottom of the fifth to hold the score at 2-0.

    “”(My defense) backed me up so much,”” said Akamine, who gave up five hits and two earned runs in six innings. “”If Cyndi hadn’t of caught that ball, the game would have been much worse.””

    Duran’s catch sparked Arizona’s bats, too, as it had runners on first and second with one out for K’Lee Arredondo, a native of Tempe. Arredondo lined a ball down the right-field line that was called foul, much to the dismay of the Wildcats’ bench.

    “”It’s a game of inches and it changed the whole complexion of the game,”” Ray said. “”(First base coach) Dave (Fineberg) said it was barely foul, so it was a good call.””

    But not all of his team agreed.

    “”It was fair,”” first baseman Laine Roth said. “”It was fair and it should’ve been tied. But we’ll get them tomorrow.””

    Catcher Callista Balko added: “”It’s a game-changing decision but we don’t have any control over that and we can’t worry about things we can’t control. The umpire had the best angle so the call must have been right.””

    Arredondo, however, said the umpire’s call was correct and that her teammates calling it fair as “”wishful thinking.””

    The only scoring in the game came off the bat of Cowles when she hit a two-run home run – her 11th of the season – into the newly erected bleachers beyond right-center field.

    Arizona was dominated from start to finish by ASU ace Katie Burkhart (26-3), who only allowed four hits while striking out 10 batters.

    “”Burkhart was throwing pretty good tonight and I give her a lot of credit,”” Balko said. “”But our team did a really good job of putting balls in play and making adjustments. This is definitely an improvement (from last Wednesday when ASU won 8-1 in Tucson).””

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