No. 5 Arizona State (48-10) came away with a close 5-4 victory over No. 12 Kentucky (41-20) Saturday night in game one of the Tempe Super Regional.
The Sun Devils were leading 5-1 at the start of the sixth when Kentucky made it a one-run ballgame with three solo homers scored against Dallas Escobedo. Lauren Cumbess (1-for-4) opened with a solo home run to left on a 3-2 count. Alice O'Brien (1-for-2) then homered to right two at-bats later on a 1-2 count and Christian Stokes (2-for-3) smashed her second homer of the night to left center two at-bats after that on a 2-1 count.
Scoring opened in the bottom of the third when Arizona State's Bailey Wigness singled, Alix Johnson (3-for-3) singled to left and Cheyenne Coyle (1-for-2, 4 RBI) followed with a three-run homer to left field on a 3-2 count for a 3-0 lead.
Two innings later in the top, Kentucky made it a 3-1 game when Stokes hit a solo shot to center, her first of the game, but ASU pulled away 5-1 in the bottom when Johnson's triple to left center scored Wigness and Coyle's fly out to left plated Johnson.
Escobedo earned the win, striking out two, allowing seven hits and all four of Kentucky's runs were earned. Mackenzie Popescue tossed the final inning where she walked one of four batters faced.
Kentucky's Kelsey Nunley took the loss, striking out one, walking two and allowing five hits. All five of Arizona State's runs were earned.
Next, Arizona State will try to close out the Tempe Super Regional on Sunday, May 26. Game two starts at 5:00 p.m. ET. If Kentucky wins, an "if necessary" game three will follow roughly 45 minutes after the end of game two.