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Long balls lead ASU past Arizona softball as Sun Devils clinch first series win over Wildcats since 2015

Photo by Ryan Kelapire

TEMPE — Fueled by four two-run homers, No. 13 ASU routed No. 8 Arizona 8-1 in the second game of the weekend series.

It clinches ASU’s first series victory over the Wildcats since 2015. The in-state rivals will play a non-conference game at 8 p.m. before wrapping up the series Sunday at 1 p.m.

Maddi Hackbarth, Alynah Torres and Makenna Harper went yard for the Sun Devils. Torres homered twice off Mariah Lopez, who surrendered three homers in an outing for the second time this season. Hackbarth kicked off the scoring in the first inning with a moonshot to left.

Harper’s homer came off Devyn Netz in the fifth after she relieved Lopez after Torres’ second homer.

Arizona’s lone run came via a Jessie Harper RBI single in the third that made it a 2-1 game. The Wildcats actually outhit the Sun Devils 8-7 but had seven singles and left nine runners on base for the second straight game.

If there’s a silver lining it’s that Peanut Martinez had two hits, including a double off the left-field wall. She started in right field after Arizona was forced to shuffle their outfield in the wake of Alyssa Palomino-Cardoza’s knee injury.

Janelle Meoño, who extended her hitting streak to 17 games with a first-inning single, was moved from left field to center, and Bella Dayton was flipped from right field to left.

Palomino-Cardoza was on crutches before the game but eventually shed them when Arizona went through pregame warmups. She injured her knee Friday trying to beat out a grounder. The UA said there will be no update on her status until the team returns to Tucson after the series.

The Wildcats (26-7, 6-4) have now lost two straight after winning 12 straight.

(Note: players and coaches are not available for interviews between games of doubleheaders.)