May 10, 2012
Score: No. 1 Cal 4, No. 2 ASU 2
BERKELEY - The No. 1 California softball team battled back from a two-run deficit to tie the game 2-2 in the bottom of the sixth against No. 2 Arizona State before senior Valerie Arioto unleashed a two-run, walk-off homer in the bottom of the seventh to defeat the Sun Devils 4-2. The Golden Bears (49-3, 20-2 in the Pac-12) are now just one win away from the Pac-12 Championship though if ASU (45-6, 17-3 in the Pac-12) wins the final two games, the Sun Devils will claim the Pac-12 title.
The Sun Devils drove in their two runs - one in the fourth and one in the sixth - off eight hits to take a 2-0 lead. The Bears worked ASU starter Dallas Escobedo for two earned runs off six walks and four hits. In the bottom of the sixth, Escobedo walked in both of the Cal runs, knotting the game at 2-2.
Cal's all-time single-season and the Pac-12 leader in homers, Arioto sent out her 22nd homer of the year with one away in the bottom of the seventh.
Henderson improved to 30-0 thanks to her eight-strikeout performance. Escobedo lasted 5.4 innings in which struck out as many as she walked - six in each category. Mackenzie Popescue (7-2) relieved her in the bottom of the sixth, suffering the loss after the seven-inning bomb.
Top of the Fourth - ASU 1, Cal 0:
Katelyn Boyd walked, Alix Johnson laid down a bunt that looked to roll foul but didn't, and Annie Lockwood reached on a bunt that Jolene Hendersonever-so-slightly misfielded. Then, Elizabeth Caporuscio flied out to left, allowing Boyd to score.
Top of the Sixth - ASU 2, Cal 0:
Amber Freeman hit a solo shot to left center.
Bottom of the Sixth - ASU 2, Cal 2:
With the bases loaded and two outs, Danielle Henderson earned a walk, plating Jace Williams, who had singled. ASU still one out away from ending the inning, Victoria Joneswalked on nine pitches to score Kostreba, who had also walked.
Bottom of the Seventh - Cal 4, ASU 2:
Next Time on the Diamond:
The Bears and Sun Devils square off again at Friday at 3 p.m. Fans are encouraged to wear pink for Cal softball's inaugural StrikeOut Cancer games. Fans wearing pink can receive giveaways at the marketing table. Pink hair ribbons will be sold as a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society.
Help Val Hit Her Community Service Goal:
All season, Valerie Arioto and her Golden Bears have been collecting unopened toiletries such as shampoo, conditioner and body wash to donate to a local women's shelter. At each of the remaining home games, bring unopened toiletries to add to the Golden Bears' collection to help! Also, vote for Val for the Lowe's Senior CLASS Award by clicking here.