Two home runs from Koral Costa and an extra-inning three-run shot from Janelle Lindvall propelled the fifth-ranked Oregon Ducks to a 7-4 win at No. 25 Arizona State Sunday, completing a three-game sweep. The Ducks (35-6, 13-2 Pacific-12), who had won 10-4 and 5-4 Friday and Saturday, handed ASU (27-18, 3-12) its ninth-consecutive loss.
Initially, Costa hit a two-run home run to center with one out in the first, then followed with the solo shot to left in the fifth to give her team the 4-3 lead. The senior centerfielder, who leads the conference in hitting, now had 10 home runs on the season, the same as Lindvall.
“We were just trying to pull out a win,” ASU interim coach Letty Olivarez said. “In general, we did some good things, but we have to understand to do the small things. We fought and know we can get there. Hopefully, we’ll come with the right combo at some point.”
A two-run triple from Nikki Girard down the third base line with one out in the bottom of the first scored Jennifer Soria and Taylor Becerra to bring the Sun Devils within 3-2. Sashel Palacios would be hit by a pitch to send runners to the corners, but both would be left stranded, as was the case in the second and fourth innings for ASU. Margaret Stahm drove home pinch runner Breona Peralta to tie the game at 3-3 earlier in the fourth.
The tying home run for ASU in the bottom of the seventh came from Jennifer Soria, with two outs, the 13th of the season for the senior centerfielder. In the top of the eighth, the senior catcher Lindvall sent the first pitch she saw to the scoreboard in left field for a 7-4 lead on a three-run homer that scored Geri Ann Glasco and Jenna Lilley.
“I’m always proud of this team, no matter the outcome,” Soria said. “We’ll work on everything and make the adjustments. We’re never out of the fight and we keep fighting. We’ll stay positive.”
Breanna Macha replaced Kelsey Kessler on the ASU mound after allowing five hits and three runs with two outs in the first inning. Macha lasted four innings, as Dale Ryndak threw three strikeouts in the final two and earned the loss (8-4). Megan Kleist was the winner for Oregon (14-3).
“Oregon is the top five offense for a reason,” Kessler said. “They at times adjusted quicker than we did, and that was the downfall.”
The Sun Devils will travel to No. 15 UCLA for a three-game series next Friday through Sunday and return to Tempe for the final homestand May 6-8 versus Stanford (7 p.m., noon and 2 p.m.). It is expected that when the coaches poll is released this week, it will not include ASU for the first time since 2006, snapping a streak of 167 consecutive weeks. The Ducks will host the No. 17 Arizona Wildcats this upcoming weekend, with the ultimate game on May 1 being televised on ESPN2 at noon.