College softball: No. 18 Texas A&M walks off in extra innings vs. No. 21 Arizona State
CATHEDRAL CITY, Calif. – Texas A&M's Samantha Show hit a walk-off double to give the 18th-ranked Aggies a 2-1 victory over No. 21 Arizona State in a nine-inning thriller Friday at the Mary Nutter Collegiate Classic.
With the international tiebreaker rule in effect and down a run in the ninth, Sarah Hudek drew a one-out walk to give the Maroon and White (13-0) runners on first and second. Show then blasted the 1-1 pitch off the wall in center, plating pinch runner Kelbi Fortenberry and Hudek.
The win marked the first extra inning victory for the Aggies this season and the first walk-off since Kristen Cuyos' single against Georgia Southern on March 15, 2016.
"To me, Sarah Hudek's walk was huge. If she gets out, then you are coming up there with two outs and that is a lot more uncomfortable than one out and a runner at first and second. I am really happy for Sarah. She really struggled with her at bats early on and settled in," said Aggies coach Jo Evans about the ninth inning. "Samantha can do it all. She has proven she is a blue-chip athlete. She can run. She can hit. She can pitch. She knew what she was looking for in that situation. It was great to have Hudek's speed on first to be able to score on that."
The Sun Devils (9-2) scored the game's first run in the top of the ninth on a bases-loaded walk by Sashel Palacios. Following a walk by Miranda Farricker and a fielder's choice, Skylar McCarty singled to load the bases. After the walk, Texas A&M's Lexi Smith ended the inning with a strikeout.
Smith earned her fifth win of the season and second of the tournament. The Temple, Texas native allowed just three hits and struck out 11 with eight walks. The game marks the third straight Smith has struck out 10 or more.
"Lexi Smith was so great today. She really settled in," Evans said. "I was sitting there thinking she deserves to win. We need to take care of her. She ends up walking the run in but I thought she was really good today."
Texas A&M is off to its second-best start under head coach Jo Evans, trailing only the 2013 season in which the Aggies won 19 in a row.