Arizona State rallies past Arizona
Steele's fifth-inning grand slam sparks Sun Devils' comeback
TEMPE, Ariz. -- No. 5 Arizona State improved to 30-3 (3-0 in Pac-12) after topping 14th-ranked Arizona 7-6 to finish off a series sweep on Sunday. This marks the 11th time in program history the Sun Devils have swept the Wildcats.
The Wildcats fall to 19-8, 0-3.
Hillary Bach picked up the win for Arizona State, improving to 14-0 with a 0.77 ERA. Bach is now third all time at ASU with 80 wins.
Haley Steele and a six-run inning in the fifth were the highlight of a come-from-behind rally that the Sun Devils used for the third time this weekend to record a victory. Steele hit the first grand slam of her career in the fifth inning, her sixth home run of the year and the second grand slam for ASU this season.
Arizona put a pair of runs on the board in the top of the third as Nicole Bryan came home on a passed ball followed by Hallie Wilson scoring on a Brigette Del Ponte hit. UA made it a 6-0 game in the top of the fourth when the Wildcats scored four runs on two hits and capitalized on one Sun Devil error.
ASU answered in the bottom of the frame scoring its first run as Steele came home on a Bethany Kemp single to right, making it 6-1 leading into the second half of the contest.
Six runs on five hits in the bottom of the fifth put the Sun Devils ahead 7-6 for its first lead of the game. ASU loaded the bases, setting up Steele for her grand slam to close the gap at 6-5.
The Sun Devils loaded the bases yet again after a UA pitching change from Shelby Babcock to Kenzie Fowler. Babcock left the game but would re-enter five batters later in the same inning. Fowler garnered the loss and falls to 8-3 overall.
Back-to-back walks scored ASU’s final two runs for the eventual score of 7-6. Taylor Haro scored the tying run on Alix Johnson’s walk, and pinch hitter Amber Freeman was the go-ahead run after Annie Lockwood reached on base on balls.
Bach and the Sun Devil defense held on for three final outs in the top of the seventh to secure the win in front of a crowd of 2,065 at Farrington Stadium.