The ASU Sun Devils took a big first step yesterday at the women's College World Series, getting by the Oklahoma Sooners 3-1 in a tautly played game in Oklahoma City.
Games like this one always come down to a few critical plays, and this one was no exception.
The moments that come to mind are the two-run single in the fourth inning by Mandy Urfer to give the Devils a 2-0 lead, and the potential game-tying home run by Oklahoma's Haley Nix that instead hit the top of the right-field wall for a double.
ASU shortstop Katelyn Boyd's ball did clear the wall one inning later, giving her team a 3-1 lead in the fifth inning that held up until the end.
The Devils' Krista Donnenwirth, a truly outstanding third baseman, sealed the deal in the sixth by grabbing a hot liner with a runner on first and firing a throw to first for a crushing double play.
Top-ranked ASU gets back to work at 6:30 today against the Florida Gators. The winner will be in great position in the double-elimination tournament, which ends next week.
Two words about pitcher Dallas Escobedo: She's good.
Amazing crowds in Oklahoma City, truly great facility--wish we were there.
But ESPN is covering the game--the entire tournament, really--and fast-pitch softball is a terrific spectator sport.