March 17, 2007
FULLERTON, CA - Arizona State junior Rhiannon Baca's walk-off three-run home run with one out in the bottom of the ninth lifted the No. 2-ranked Sun Devils to a 4-1 victory over Cal State Fullerton in the consolation championship bracket opener on Saturday morning in Fullerton, Calif.
The loss was the fifth-straight for the Titans, who fell to 14-13 overall and lost their third extra-inning game in their last three contests. Cal State Fullerton will now take on No. 24 Florida State at approximately 6:15 p.m. on Saturday night in the final game of the tournament for both teams.
ASU improved to 29-4 overall with the win and advances to the semifinals of the consolation championship bracket against NC State on Sunday morning (March 18) at 8:30 a.m.
After the Titans left the go-ahead run on third in the top of the ninth, the Sun Devils rallied for the win in the bottom half of the inning as Caylyn Carlson singled to lead off the inning, moving Mindy Cowles to third with no outs.
Michelle Smith then popped up for the first out before Carlson took second with Baca at the plate. On the very next pitch, Baca sent a towering shot over the fence in left field for the game-winner.
Baker (8-8) lost her fifth consecutive decision in the circle, allowing three earned on five hits in 8 1/3 innings of work while striking out six.
Katie Burkhart (13-2) earned the win, allowing a single run on five hits while striking out 12 in nine innings of work.
Fullerton drew first blood in the sixth as junior Jessica Doucette slugged her second home run of the season with one out, clearing the left field fence for the 1-0 lead.
Arizona State answered right back in its half of the inning as Katie Cochran sent the second pitch she saw in her at-bat over the fence in right field to tie the game at 1-1.
Five different players accounted for the Titans' hits - all singles save for Doucette's home run. Cochran led ASU with a 2-for-3 day at the plate.