The Arizona State softball team (1-0) kicked off its 2013 season with a 3-0 shutout over New Mexico (0-2) on Thursday night in Tempe. ASU softball is 36-7 on opening day dating back to 1971 and has not lost its season opener since 1995.
Dallas Escobedo (1-0), who earned All-American First Team accolades and Pac-10 Pitcher of the Week honors twice during her freshman year in 2011, once again proved her value to the Sun Devils by putting away 15 New Mexico batters — just one shy of her career record and topping her season best of 14 during 2012. Sophomore center fielder Elizabeth Caporuscio also made her presence known, going 3-for-3 at bat with two runs.
Caporuscio started the scoring for ASU in the second inning. Senior in-fielder Sam Parlich made the lead 2-0 in the fourth with a single to left field that brought Kayla Ketchum in from second base. Caporuscio subsequently came home on an illegal pitch by New Mexico to extend the lead to 3-0.
Escobedo opened this year’s campaign by reminding Sun Devil fans of her skills on the mound. She posted 13 strikeouts by the sixth inning and retired the side in the third and sixth. Lauren Soles (0-1) had the loss for the Lobos, who fall to 0-2.
Arizona State softball comes into this season with a preseason ranking of No. 4 in both the NFCA/USA Today poll and the ESPN.com/USA Softball poll. Plus, it is the only team in the Top 10 of the 2013 NFCA Preseason Poll that holds multiple NCAA titles.
ASU next goes up against Cal State Northridge and Indiana on Friday. Over the weekend, they will play Kentucky, Western Michigan, Bradley and Boise State.