Cats' power surge falls short

Kentucky managed to do what no other team has done this season -- rough up Arizona State ace Dallas Escobedo for four home runs -- but it wasn't enough to lift the Wildcats to victory in Game 1 of their NCAA Super Regional series on Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.

Kentucky managed to do what no other team has done this season -- rough up Arizona State ace Dallas Escobedo for four home runs -- but it wasn't enough to lift the Wildcats to victory in Game 1 of their NCAA Super Regional series on Saturday night in Tempe, Ariz.

The Sun Devils scored three runs in the third inning and added two in the fifth to overcome UK's power surge in a 5-4 win.

Escobedo entered the game having not allowed an earned run in 31 consecutive innings, but the Cats got to her for four solo home runs, including two by Christian Stokes and one each from Lauren Cumbess and Alice O'Brien. Kentucky (41-20) set a school record for home runs in an NCAA game.

The 12th-ranked Wildcats out-hit the Sun Devils 7-5 on the night, but Arizona State made every one count. The biggest was a three-run homer by Cheyenne Coyle, who added a fourth RBI on a sacrifice fly. Alix Johnson went 3-for-3 in the leadoff spot and drove in the other run for No. 5 ASU (49-10).

Escobedo (29-4) overcame the uncharacteristic performance to earn the win. She allowed four earned runs on seven hits, walking none, before giving way to Mackenzie Popescue for the save with a scoreless seventh inning.

Freshman pitcher Kelsey Nunley (27-10) got the start for UK in the circle, throwing all six innings, allowing five runs – all earned – on five hits with two walks and a strikeout.

Game 2 of the best-of-three series will be at 5 p.m. ET Sunday and aired nationally by ESPN. If the Cats can even the series at one game apiece, the rubber match will be held Sunday at 8 p.m. ET on ESPN2.

NCAA Tempe Super Regional
Schedule
Game One: Saturday, May 25 – Arizona State def. Kentucky 5-4
Game Two: Sunday, May 26 - Arizona State vs. Kentucky - 5 p.m. ET - ESPN
Game Three: Sunday, May 26 - Kentucky vs. Arizona State - 8 p.m. ET - ESPN2*

* If necessary

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