Sun Devils Softball strikes back - Tucson News Now

Sun Devils Softball strikes back

TUCSON, AZ (Tucson News Now) -

Twenty-first ranked Arizona State scored the final three runs of the game, erasing a two-run deficit to avoid the series sweep with a 3-2 victory in Tempe on Sunday.

Jennifer Soria hit a two-run homer that bounced off the top of the right field wall in the bottom of the fifth to propel the Sun Devils to victory.

It was another pitcher's duel between Danielle O'Toole and Kelsey Kessler, two days after the two battled in a 2-0 Arizona victory in game 1.

Kessler (7.0 IP, 2 R, 4 H, 4 Ks, 3 BB) got the best of O'Toole on Sunday (6.0 IP, 3 R, 2 ER, 4 H, 3 Ks, 3 BB). Kessler improved to 9-5 while O'Toole fell to 11-5.

Katiyana Mauga hit her 10th homer of the season, but it was Arizona's lone source of offense in the game. Her two-run shot in the fourth put Arizona ahead 2-0 before the Sun Devils fought back with an unearned run in the fourth and a two-run homer in the fifth.

Still, the Cats head back to Tucson with a series victory over the Sun Devils, their first since 2013.

The teams combined for one hit in the first three innings before the Cats got the bats going in the fourth. Mandie Perez notched UA's first hit to lead off the frame and two batters later, Katiyana Mauga hit her 10th homer of the season to put UA up 2-0 midway through four.

ASU got its leadoff hitter aboard in the bottom of the fourth courtesy of an Arizona error. It would come around to bite the Cats on a two-out RBI single that ended O'Toole's scoreless streak at 19.2 innings, a streak that dated back five appearances.

The Sun Devils took the lead the next inning on Jennifer Soria's two-run homer to right.

Arizona battled in the seventh, loading the bases, but couldn't find the seventh inning magic it enjoyed in games 1 and 2.

Up Next: The Wildcats welcome Utah for a Thursday-Saturday series in the Pac-12 home opener next week. The Cats and Utes begin the series at 7 p.m. on Thursday on the Pac-12 Networks.

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