Junior Danielle O'Toole threw a one-hit shutout and freshman Joelle Krist hit a two-out, two-run home run in the top of the seventh inning as the 18th-ranked Cats took game one over their rivals, 2-0 in the Pac-12 opener.
O'Toole dueled with ASU's Kelsey Kessler for six scoreless innings until an error gave the Cats extra life in the top of the seventh. Arizona catcher Lauren Young's two-out grounder was bobbled by ASU second baseman Nikki Girard, whose throw was wide of first, extending the seventh for Krist.
The freshman, in just her 12th career at-bat, fell behind 0-2 before working the count even. She drilled Kessler's 2-2 pitch to left-center to give Arizona the 2-0 lead.
O'Toole closed out her masterpiece with a perfect seventh. On the game, O'Toole allowed just four base runners, a bloop sixth-inning single preventing the no-hitter. The redshirt junior struck out four and walked three in the outing. O'Toole improved to 11-4 on the year.
O’Toole’s one-hit shutout was her second consecutive after her five-inning one-hit effort last week in Arizona’s 11-0 win at UT Arlington. Arizona’s pitchers have gone 24 innings without allowing an earned run. Over the last four games, Arizona’s pitching staff has a combined 0.26 ERA.
The game was dominated by the pitchers early on. The first baserunner did not come until ASU's Ulufa Leilua drew a one-out walk in the third.
Arizona got the first hit of the game one half-inning later when Eva Watson, returning to the lineup after missing three weeks with a knee injury singled with one out in the fourth.
Entering the sixth, Watson's single remained the game's only hit. Ashleigh Hughes led off the inning with a single, and was bunted to second to give Arizona its first runner in scoring position of the night. Arizona was unable to capitalize, though, squandering its biggest chance of the game.
The Sun Devils broke up O'Toole's no-hit bid with a pinch-hit single from Margaret Stahm with one out in the bottom of the sixth. A walk put two on, before O'Toole caught a line drive to get out of trouble.
In the top of the seventh, Kessler retired the first two Wildcats quickly before an error extended the inning for Krist. The freshman, receiving just her fourth career start, took Kessler's 2-2 pitch to deep left field to give Arizona a 2-0 lead.
O'Toole's 1-2-3 seventh ended the game.
Up Next: The Wildcats will go for the series victory tomorrow at 3:30 p.m. at Farrington Stadium. The game will be televised on the Pac-12 Networks.
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