By Scott Mammoser
TEMPE, Ariz. - Alyssa Denham pitched a two hitter to pave the way for the No. 13-ranked Arizona Wildcats to win at No. 8 Arizona State, 4-1, on Saturday. After ASU won, 2-1, Friday on a walk off double, the weekend rivalry series is 1-1 with the ultimate game coming at 5 p.m. on Sunday.
|Alyssa Denham pitches a two hitter in win over Devils|
“Offensively in the box, we couldn’t cut it at all,” ASU coach Trisha Ford said. “We took some things for granted. Our plate discipline today was not good. We have to be better.
There’s not always going to be a next at-bat, and it shouldn’t take us three innings to go through our lineup. They had better come out with some more tenacity tomorrow or it’s going to be an interesting game.”
Ford praised senior pitcher Breanna Macha, who had four strikeouts, saying she did her part, but the offense needed to support her.
“The mentality we have is to keep grinding,” said Macha, who is 10-5. “Hits are coming to come and go, so it’s about being consistent. We have been down three runs before, so sometimes it happens, sometimes it doesn’t.”
|Aleah Craighton scores first run of game|
Arizona left fielder Carli Campbell, who was 2-for-3 on the day, drove home Aleah Craighton with no outs in the top of the fourth to open the scoring. Second baseman Reyna Carranco added a two-run double to make it 3-0, and at the end of the inning, the Wildcats held an 8-0 advantage in hits. Campbell drove home Craighton again in the top of the fifth for the fourth Arizona run, with a throwing error to first. Denham (7-3) struck out two Sun Devils and has a 2.18 ERA.
The highlight for ASU was Morgan Howe’s home run to lead off the bottom of the fourth. It was the sixth of the year for the junior center fielder.
|Morgan Howe's home run in the 4th inning|
“Building off my previous at-bat, I just wanted to see a pitch to hit,” Howe said. “It went up differently. We just need to be better from the get go, we can’t be waiting for our third at-bats to figure things out and make adjustments. Coach usually says, ‘The team that makes adjustments first, comes out on top,’ and it was them today.”
Arizona improved to 30-13 and 7-10 in the Pacific-12 Conference, while the Sun Devils now stand at 35-8 and 9-5.