TEMPE, Ariz. - Junior Ally Carda struck out nine, but a first-inning home run for third-ranked Arizona State proved to be the difference, as #2 UCLA fell 2-0 on Thursday at Farrington Stadium.
The Bruins, who were shut out for the first time this year, fall to 46-6 overall and 17-5 in Pac-12 play, while the Sun Devils improve to 44-8-1 and 15-5-1 in league action, as Oregon clinches the conference title by virtue of its win over Arizona and UCLA’s loss.
Carda (27-4) was on her game in the circle, striking out a pair in the first, second, third and fifth innings, while recording a 1-2-3 frame in the fourth. She allowed six hits, two walks and two runs.
Arizona State jumped out to an early 2-0 lead in the bottom of the first. Cheyenne Coyle had a one-out single up the middle and Amber Freeman hit a two-run homer to center to put the home team up.
UCLA got its share of base runners, but left seven on base. In the second, the Bruins stranded a pair after senior Alyssa Tiumalu drew a two-out walk and sophomore Brittany Moeai reached on an error. In the fourth, a one-out walk to sophomore Mysha Sataraka and a two-out free pass to Tiumalu were also left on base. In the sixth, the Bruins were unable to cash in a one-out walk to junior Stephany LaRosa.
Arizona State had its opportunities to extend the lead, but left one on in the second and third, two in the fifth and three in the sixth.
In the seventh, the Bruins rallied with a pair of one-out, pinch-hit singles, their first two hits of the game. Junior Gracie Goulder singled up the middle and senior Jessica Hall singled to left-center, but ASU’s Dallas Escobedo induced back-to-back fly outs to left by sophomore Allexis Bennett and Carda to end the game.
The Bruins and the Sun Devils continue their series on Friday at 5:30 p.m. The game will air live on Pac-12 Networks.