May 22, 2010

AMHERST, Mass. - With Megan Elliott firing on all cylinders and clutch hitting from Annie Lockwood and Caylyn Carlson, the No. 13 ASU Softball team was just able to edge the LIU Blackbirds Saturday afternoon in Game Three of the Amherst Regional. Elliott moves to 12-2 on the year with the Sun Devils improving to 43-15 while LIU falls to 38-17 and one game from elimination from the NCAA Tournament.

The Sun Devils sent Megan Elliott to the circle for the game with an 11-2 record on the year while facing off against LIU ace, Blaire Porter who entered with a 28-7 record.

And quite the pitcher battle it turned out to be on the day as both Elliott and Porter pitched their way out of some sticky battles to open the game. The Sun Devils finally broke through first in the top of the third though as an RBI single up the middle from Annie Lockwood brought home Lesley Rogers for the 1-0 lead.

The left on base battle continued to plague ASU, leaving 10 on base through six and causing the ASU faithful to suspire. The only sign of life was Caylyn Carlson's pinch-hit two-RBI single up the middle to give ASU a 3-0 lead headed into the bottom of the sixth.

The Blackbirds didn't make it this far to go without a fight as they came out hungry in the sixth inning and attacked the scoreboard loading up the bases to bring in Sam Parlich in relief. After a single to plate a run and a hit batter to plate another Mandy Urfer pulled some magic at first to pull a double play off to escape the threat.

With Porter pitching a gem as well, she kept ASU off-balance through the seventh putting the game in Sam Parlich's hands with the top of a vicious LIU line-up coming up in the seventh. A lead-off double Bianca Meija loomed ominous for the Sun Devils but the freshman composed herself to collect a strikeout and a fly out which moved Meija to third. With the tying run waiting at third a ground out by the clean-up hitter to Parlich closed out the game and the win.

The Sun Devils now advance to the winner's bracket where they'll hit the field again tomorrow at 5 p.m. taking on the winner of tonight's 7:30 p.m. BU/LIU game.