TEMPE, Ariz. — Third-ranked Arizona State (16-0) needed a walk-off hit to escape Portland State 4-3 on Sunday. The teams played in unkind weather with winds gusting up to 30 miles per hour.
Portland State (4-11) proved to be ASU’s most resilient opponent of the season thus far, fighting for leads in two of the games in the series, including Sunday’s. The Sun Devils scored three runs in the bottom of the seventh to keep their 16-0 win streak alive. Jennifer Soria’s pinch-hit walk-off single plated Cheyenne Coyle. Reliever Mackenzie Popescue picked up the win and improved to 7-0 overall.
ASU was off its game and working from behind, taking three innings to go through one rotation of the lineup. After four complete frames, neither team had moved a runner past second base.
Dallas Escobedo amassed eight strikeouts after five innings and allowed just two hits by that point. Portland State started its ace Anna Bertrand, who held her own in keeping the Sun Devils at bay until the fifth.
On a 2-2 count in the fifth, Sam Parlich homered to center and gave ASU the 1-0 edge. Portland State rallied back in the next inning with back-to-back home runs by Becca Bliss and Alicia Fine. ASU fell behind 3-1 when the Vikings loaded the bases and proceeded to walk in an unearned run. Popescue got the final putout of the inning – Escobedo exited the circle after 5.2 innings and nine strikeouts.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Sun Devils closed the gap 3-2 with another leadoff home run by Parlich. She has had three long balls this year and 20 in her career, which ties for 13th all-time. The 3-3 tie came thanks to Bailey Wigness scoring on a Coyle single to deep center.
Soria closed the books with a walk-off single to right that plated the winning run in Coyle. ASU got the victory 4-3, its second walk-off win of the weekend. Popescue was the pitcher of record, throwing 1.1 innings for her third win of the weekend.
Against Portland State, Elizabeth Caporuscio had a team-best eight hits (.667 batting average). Parlich broke out for eight RBIs and a 1.200 slugging percentage in the last four games. Popescue recorded a 1.68 ERA against PSU with three wins in 8.1 innings.