TEMPE, Arizona. — The Duke softball program (3-1, 0-0 ACC) split day two at Saturday’s Kajikawa Classic, beating Utah in the opener but falling to 21st-ranked Arizona State in the nightcap.
The Blue Devils delivered another double-digit mileage against the Utes (1-2, 0-0 PAC-12) and won 11-2. Runs continued to come against the Sun Devils (3-1, 0-0 PAC-12), but the Blue Devils fell to a walk-off home run at 8-7.
Duke vs. Utah
In a copy of their game against California Baptist, Rachel Crabtree got the offense going with a first inning home run and captured the first pitch she saw over the midfield fence to take a 1-0 lead. Utah, however, was able to pull off a quick response, scoring two runs late in the first inning to take an early lead.
The Blue Devils wouldn’t be down long since Kelly Torres occasionally, and Kristina Vormann propelled them into midfield with a deep home run to take a 3-2 lead. The Blue Devils kept the Force running, adding home runs in the third and fourth innings thanks to solo blasts from Gisele Tapia and Caroline Jacobsen take a 5-2 lead.
starting pitcher Jala Wright recovered from the first inning and threw a jewel in her first start as a Blue Devil. Wright went five innings, allowing just two hits and two earned runs while striking out five before yielding to scoreless innings Shelby Walters and Lili Walker.
Duke’s offense exploded in the upper part of the seventh inning, adding six more runs to the scoreboard. After loading the bases, Jameson Kavel drove all three runners in with a bases clearing double to make it 8:2. The Blue Devils would previously add another run on a wild field Leah Jarnac ripped her first college hit for a two-RBI single to make it 11-2.
Duke versus #21 Arizona State
The Blue Devils turned their attention to the Sun Devils when the two teams played Arizona late nights. both starting pitchers, Peyton St George and Allison Royalty went three scoreless innings before the Blue Devils struck in the opening run when Foreman drove Kavel home with an RBI single to make it 1-0.
The Sun Devils responded quickly with five runs, but the Blue Devils began to fail. The rally started when Anna Gold started her first collegiate home run in the fifth inning to left centerfield to reduce the deficit to three.
Then, in the sixth inning, Jacobsen made the Sun Devils pay for a field error by driving Torres home with a blast into right field to cut the lead to 5-4. Kamryn Jackson continued the rally immediately after Jacobsen’s home run with a single, and Kyla Morris reached on a hit-by-pitch and fielded gold again. The freshman delivered an RBI single down center to drive a streaky Jackson home and tie the game 5-5.
With two runners still up, Taylor Krapf reached the base and gave Crabtree another chance. The graduate student drilled a single of her own to give the Blue Devils a 6-5 lead.
Arizona State was able to get one back in the bottom half of the inning, but the Blue Devils kept the pressure on the home team in the seventh. After pulling two early walks, the Blue Devils got another loaded base when Morris pulled it to take a 7-6 lead. However, the Sun Devils were able to respond in the bottom half of the seventh with a two-run walk-off home run by Kristiana Watson.
- Crabtree went into sole possession with one against Utah first on the Blue Devils all-time list.
- The Blue Devils set a program record with four home runs in the win over Utah. The feat has only been accomplished three times before, and the first time outside of the conference — against Virginia on March 13, 2021, in the state of NC on May 7, 2021, and May 8, 2021.
- Jacobsen is now home running in three straight games, good for the longest streak of her career.
- Kavel recorded her 40th career double in the win over Utah.
- Leah Jarnac, Taylor Krapf and Lili Walker Each made their debut with the Blue Devils on Saturday.
The Blue Devils will close out the game at Sunday’s Kajikawa Classic and meet Utah for a rematch at 10 a.m. ET. The game will be broadcast over the PAC-12 Network.
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