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ASU Softball: Sun Devils fall to Cal in game two

Tough Saturday at the yard

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

A day after a game one win against Cal (28-26, 5-17 Pac-12), the Golden Bears flipped the script on Saturday by upending Arizona State (29-18, 9-11) 8-3 at Farrington Stadium.

Cal senior pitcher Kamalani Dung threw a complete game, four-hit outing while striking out six.

The fourth-year pitcher for the Golden Bears was very effective, although head coach Trisha Ford thought there was more that could have been done. She thought her team gave away at-bats.

“I just felt that we had selfish at-bats,” Ford said. “We didn’t execute our plan at all. That hurt us...There was a lot of mental stuff today and not a lot of physical stuff. We didn’t start swinging the bats until the sixth and the seventh and our approach was not where it needed to be.”

After a run in the first inning, Cal led 1-0 after four frames. ASU trailed by just the lone tally but Dung was able to keep getting the job done. Then the fifth inning came. The Golden Bears dropped a five-spot that was capped off by freshman catcher Makena Smith, who belted a two-run shot over the left center field wall.

Among other offensive standouts for Cal, senior Lindsay Rood was 3-5 and sophomore third baseman Karlee Sparacino had two hits.

The big fifth allowed the Golden Bears to pull out in front and hold the lead behind the arm of Dung.

For ASU, junior shortstop Jade Gortarez had a solo home run and they brought across two runs in the seventh, but the deficit was too much to overcome.

On a senior weekend for outfielders Skylar McCarty and Morgan Howe, they felt that the efforts just weren’t good enough at the plate.

“We have film and she has pitched a total of 13 innings against us, what more could she have to pull out of her pocket,” McCarty said. “That’s something that we are going to do is we are going to sit down tomorrow and look at film before we get to the celebration and the senior stuff.”

Howe put forth her thoughts as well.

“Kama’s (Dung) pitches all move upwards no matter what the pitch is,” Howe said. “It wasn't the game plan itself, it was the fact that we didn't execute or buy into it today as a unit.”

After a little bit of frustration, ASU will get a second chance to go for a series tomorrow in a rubber match against Cal.

Ford and her players expect more as the stretch to the postseason starts to heat up. ASU is still fighting for a tournament bid and a possible regional host.

“I know we are better in the box than what we showed today...We threw at-bats away,” Ford said. “...Losing today will help motivate us to come out tomorrow. It’s a senior day and it’s great to celebrate them but that’s after the game. It’s about us coming out here and winning a ballgame.”

McCarty added to the point.

“We are going to take the senior part out of tomorrow,” McCarty said. “Yes it’s about us, and yes, it’s our last game at Farrington. But once we start thinking about that, the emotions tie into the game...We have to win tomorrow and tomorrow is a big game.”