Arizona softball run-rules ASU in play-in round of Pac-12 Tournament

The Wildcats will move on to face No. 1-seeded UCLA


Nathanial Stenchever

Allie Skaggs, second baseman of the Arizona softball team, starts to get lifted into the air after a walk-off grand slam to end a play-in game against Pac-12 rival ASU. Arizona won the game 13-4 in five innings run-ruling ASU during the first ever Pac-12 softball tournament.

The inaugural Pac-12 tournament kicked off on Wednesday, May 10, at 6 p.m. at Mike Candrea Field at Rita Hillenbrand Memorial Stadium. The Arizona softball team and ASU kicked the tournament off with a play-in game. Arizona was coming into the game on a high from a win against the University of California Berkeley, securing them the No. 8 seed in the tournament. ASU was coming into the game after losing two games to Oregon State University, making them the No. 9 seed in the tournament. 

Arizona sent Devyn Netz out to start at pitcher for the first tournament game. After walking the first batter and hitting the second, Netz settled in until ASU loaded the bases and Sun Devil senior Jazmine Hill hit a grand slam, clearing the bases and building an early 4-0 lead

Netz got the next out, but the damage was done and ASU took the early lead.

“As a pitcher you just have to think it’s one bad pitch,” Netz said after the game. “It’s the first inning, and you have a lot of time to use your offense.”

Arizona was unable to answer until the bottom of the second inning. After Allie Skaggs scored on an RBI from Logan Cole, Arizona loaded the bases and Carlie Scupin hit a 3-RBI double off the wall. Even Dakota Kennedy, who ran through a stop sign from the third base coach, made it home from first base. 

With the game now tied at 4-4, Scupin came back up to bat in the bottom of the fourth inning and hit her second double, scoring Cole in the process. Netz’ pitching only tightened up as the Wildcat defense rallied behind her. 

Going into the bottom of the fifth up by 1 run, Arizona had their biggest offensive inning of the night. After getting key hits from Blaise Biringer and Izzy Pacho, the Wildcats’ center fielder Kaiah Altmeyer got a base hit and an RBI. ASU then felt it was necessary to change pitchers now down 2 runs

However, it didn’t matter who the Arizona batters faced. The Wildcats got base hits off of the new ASU pitcher, loading the bases again. Both Olivia DiNardo and Netz came up to bat with bases loaded but were hit by pitches and unable to do anything. This did, however, walk in 2 runs for the Wildcats while keeping runners on. With the bases still loaded, Skaggs stepped up to the plate. After battling for a while, she hit a walk-off grand slam to right field

“I knew we were up [by] 5 at the time and bases loaded, I knew we had nothing to lose if I take that hack,” said Skaggs

With Skaggs’ grand slam, it put the Wildcats up 13-4 in the bottom of the fifth, run-ruling ASU out of the tournament. With the win in the play-in game Arizona now faces No. 1-seeded UCLA on Thursday, May 11, in the first round of the Pac-12 Softball Tournament