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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

    Softball sweeps season series against Sun Devils

    TEMPE – Since she’s been out of the Wildcats’ lineup, Victoria Kemp has seen her Arizona teammates fight for first place in the Pacific 10 Conference.

    She wanted in on the action.

    The second baseman was in the starting lineup for the continuation of an April 11 rain-out game against No. 6 ASU. She hit a game-deciding solo home run as No. 7 Arizona (39-11, 11-4 Pac-10) won 3-2, then started the second contest of the night the right way, hitting a two-run homer en route to a 10-6 victory and a season sweep of the Sun Devils.

    With the pair of wins in Tempe on Wednesday night, the Wildcats also moved into sole possession of first place in the conference.

    “”Big first game, and (I) kept her in the lineup and she swung the bat well,”” UA head coach Mike Candrea said of Kemp’s performance. “”Sometimes you sit around on that bench a long time, and you’re biding for an opportunity and she was ready for it.””

    In the evening game, Arizona felt a little of their Hillenbrand Stadium magic just 100 miles up the road.

    By the time ASU was up to bat, the Arizona offense had spotted starting pitcher Lindsey Sisk (12-3) a 5-0 lead.

    After third baseman Jenae Leles blasted a three-run shot to right-center field – scoring lead-off hitter Brittany Lastrapes and shortstop K’Lee Arredondo – Kemp drilled her second home run of the evening to score herself and freshman Lini Koria, who was hit by a pitch.

    “”I felt really good,”” Kemp said of her two home runs. “”I know when it’s my turn to be called on I have to do my job.

    “”You can’t get mad if you’re sitting on the bench,”” she added. “”You have to still know that you’re going to be in the game and be ready at all times.””

    Sisk gave up consecutive homers to Sun Devils Ashley Muenz and Christina Zambrana, who cut the lead to three runs. After another hit off of her, then a wild pitch and a walk, Sisk was replaced by pitcher Jennifer Martinez during the bottom of the third inning.

    Martinez struggled as well, throwing a wild pitch that loaded the bases, then hitting a batter to bring one score home. Zambrana drove in two more runs on Martinez to tie the game by the end of the third frame.

    In the next inning, Lastrapes homered to score center fielder Lauren Schutzler and right fielder Karissa Buchanan, who was on base after freshman Kristen Arriola pinch hit for her. Arizona’s home run total now stands at 117 this year.

    With the score 8-5, Sisk’s absence was short-lived.

    She returned to the circle in the fourth, giving up one run in the inning but was lucky it wasn’t more.

    With a runner on third, Arredondo fielded a ball at her shortstop position and gunned it to Chambers, cutting down the Sun Devil to prevent the score.

    “”I took off for quite a while and it feels good to get back in there and get the job done,”” Sisk said. “”It wasn’t one of my best games, but I was happy I came back out there. We got a win, so that’s what I’m happy about.””

    With the Wildcats leading by two runs, Koria scored Leles from third base to go up 9-6. Later, Chambers found home after a Kemp fly-out was dropped in the outfield, putting the Wildcats into double digit scoring.

    Concluding the rained out April 11 game between the two schools, the Sun Devils quickly extinguished the stalled Arizona’s half of the third inning. But in the bottom of the fourth, Kemp gave Candrea notice, hitting a solo home run to left-center field to take a 3-2 lead.

    The Wildcats clung to that score as Sarah Akamine (18-5) was credited with a full seven innings and the win. She gave up two runs on six hits and struck out ASU six batters.

    “”The first game was a big one because it happened so quick,”” Candrea said. “”It definitely gave us a lot of momentum going (into the second game).””

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