TEMPE, Ariz. – The No. 2 University of Oregon softball team (45-9, 18-5) banged out eight hits against No. 5 Arizona State (45-9, 16-7), but fell Friday afternoon by a 5-3 count in the second game of their three-game series.
In comparison, ASU ended with six hits for the game, and a pair of RBI singles fueled its four-run third inning, aided by two walks, a hit by pitch and an error.
ASU went ahead 1-0 in the first inning, thanks to a solo homer by Cheyenne Coyle, but the Ducks bounced back and took the lead in the second inning, 2-0.
Junior first baseman Kailee Cuico led off the inning with her seventh double of the year down the left field line.
The All-Region returnee came around to score on a pair of singles by junior catcher Alexa Peterson and senior right fielder Samantha Pappas. Pappas later touched home after she advanced on a sacrifice bunt and infield ground-out.
UO’s final run came in the fourth inning after Peterson doubled, advanced on a fielder’s choice, and scored on a sacrifice fly by freshman third baseman Koral Costa.
Overall for the game, Pappas and Peterson both went 2-for-3, and four others hit safely once.
The Mission Viejo, Calif., native Pappas climbed a spot on the all-time Duck career hit list into a tie for second place with former great Sari-Jane Jenkins (230), and is now only four shy of the school record owned by Julie Cavanaugh (234).
In the circle for the Ducks, freshman starter Cheridan Hawkins (17-5) pitched the first 2.1 innings, struck out three, walked two, allowed three hits, and three of her four runs allowed were earned.
With the bases loaded in the third inning and no outs, sophomore Karissa Hovinga relieved her and pitched the next 2.2 innings, struck out two, walked one, gave up three hits and one unearned run.
Hawkins re-entered in the sixth inning and got three straight outs to finish her team-high 17th contest of the year.
With another ‘K’ in the final inning, the Anderson, Calif., native upped her season strikeout total to 196 – still sixth-best in team history and six shy of the fifth-best mark (202).
ASU starter Mackenzie Popescue (19-5) pitched the opening four innings, struck out five, walked one, yielded seven hits and three earned runs.
After sophomore center fielder Janie Takeda singled to open the fifth inning and freshman shortstop Karine Shaver walked with no outs, Dallas Escobedo entered the game and pitched the remainder.
The All-American ultimately picked up her second save of the season with her five strikeouts, one walk, and no hits allowed in two innings of work.
At the plate for Arizona State, two players had multiple hits – Sam Parlich (2-for-3, 2 RBI) and Lucy Aubrecht (2-for-3, RBI).
Looking ahead, the two teams return to action at Farrington Stadium on Saturday for the 5 p.m. regular season finale that will be televised live by the Pac-12 Network.