BERKELEY – Senior Cheyenne Cordes hit a two-run home run and sophomore Nisa Ontiveros threw four strong innings of relief but Cal’s softball team lost 7-2 to No. 7 Arizona State on Friday afternoon in the first of a three-game Pac-12 Conference series at Levine-Fricke Field.
Cordes’ homer came with the Bears (20-12, 3-2 Pac-12) trailing 6-0 in the bottom of the third inning. Senior Victoria Jones led off the inning with a single. After two were out, Cordes drove a pitch over the center field wall to make it 6-2.
Ontiveros entered the game in the fourth inning with Cal trailing 6-2 and limited the damage the rest of the way. She went four innings, allowing one earned run on three hits and three walks while striking out three.
Cal starter Stephanie Trzcinski (5-4) got the first two outs of the bottom of the first inning but then ran into trouble. A single, double and walk loaded the bases, and then Arizona State left fielder Elizabeth Caporuscio drove the first pitch she saw over the right field wall for a grand slam.
The Sun Devils (33-6, 7-3) added two more runs in the top of the third. The Bears got out of the inning when catcher Victoria Jones picked off ASU’s Bethany Kemp leading off second base.
Cordes, who also added a single, now leads the Bears with 30 RBI on the season. Her eight home runs ranks second on the team behind Danielle Henderson.
Arizona State All-American pitcher Dallas Escobedo allowed two earned runs and struck out 13 while tossing a complete game.
The Bears host the Sun Devils again Saturday at 3 p.m. in the second game of the series. The game will be televised by the Pac-12 Networks.