Arizona Softball

Arizona run-rules Arizona State to win series and claim Territorial Cup

Allie Skaggs had two RBIs on Saturday. (Arizona Athletics)

Kaiah Altmeyer continued where she left off in game one of the series, and four RBIs from Carlie Scupin helped No. 19 Arizona run-rule Arizona State 13-3 in five innings to win its third-straight conference series and claim the Territorial Cup Saturday at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Arizona (30-13-1, 11-9 Pac-12) won two out of three at Utah earlier in April before taking two games at home against Oregon last weekend. The Wildcats have a chance to sweep the Sun Devils for the first time since 2019 with a win on Sunday.

Arizona head coach Caitlin Lowe said the plan was to be aggressive at the plate after the lineup had just five hits in game one of the series on Friday. She thinks Dakota Kennedy’s leadoff solo home run in the bottom of the first inning set the tone for the game.

“They were just hunting, they were hunting,” Lowe said. “It looked like the pitchers had to throw to their plate, and they knew that they were going to get a hit; it was just a matter of when and where the ball went.”

The Wildcats scored a combined ten runs in the third and fourth innings.

“I think that’s just passing the bat, honestly, and trusting our plan like we’ve been saying all week,” Kennedy said of the explosive two innings. “Like we’re prepared for this, we’re ready to go. We passed the bat, and everyone did their jobs, so that’s what happens.”

Miranda Stoddard (5-8) allowed two earned runs off four hits in four innings. Ali Blanchard finished the game in the circle for Arizona in the top of the fifth.

“I just felt so great about that start,” Lowe said. “Her (Stoddard) getting that first inning under her belt and getting comfortable, it just really carried us today, and that felt fantastic. Then getting A.B. (Blanchard) in at the end of the game was huge. I thought she did her thing, both her and Miranda. It just felt like a good win today for them.”

Stoddard said she was extra motivated to pitch well on Saturday because it was Alumni Night.

“I think it’s especially awesome to do so today when we’re commemorating all of those that have come before us and just recognizing the decades of excellence that have played at Arizona,” she said.

Arizona held a 3-1 lead heading into the bottom of the third inning before it scored six runs to blow the game wide open.

Allie Skaggs walked to open the bottom half for Arizona. With one out, Emily Schepp doubled up the middle, moving Skaggs to third. Tayler Biehl singled to third, scoring Skaggs to put Arizona up 4-1. Altmeyer then picked up an RBI double to left field, extending the lead to 5-1 for the Wildcats. 

After Kennedy walked and Regan Shockey reached base on a fielder’s choice, a two-out, two-RBI single through the left side from Carlie Scupin stretched the lead to 7-1, promoting Mac Osborne to replace Meika Lauppe in the circle for Arizona State (18-24, 2-15 Pac-12). After Osborne walked Olivia DiNardo, Skaggs doubled to left, scoring pinch-runner Zaedi Tagalog and DiNardo to put Arizona up 9-1.

An RBI single from Arizona State’s Samantha Swan and a fielding error by Shockey narrowed the gap to 9-3 for the Sun Devils in the top of the fourth.

Arizona added four runs in the bottom half off a bases-loaded walk from Kennedy that scored Schepp, a two-RBI single to right field from Scupin and a run scored by Shockey on a wild pitch.

Arizona opened the game with a leadoff solo home run from Kennedy in the bottom of the first, going up 1-0.

Jordyn VanHook walked to open the top of the second for Arizona State. With one out, Tanya Windle singled to right field, and a two-out RBI sacrifice fly from Kayla Lissy tied the game at 1-1. 

In the bottom half, a two-out, two-run home run to right field from Altmeyer put Arizona back on top at 3-1. The home run scored Blaise Biringer, who reached base on an error from Libby Walsh at second base.

Altmeyer had a walk-off solo home run on Friday and has five RBIs in the series so far.

The home run ended Arizona State starting pitcher Marissa Schuld’s afternoon after just 1 2/3 innings in the circle.

Arizona plays Arizona State in the final game of the series tomorrow at 2 p.m. at Hillenbrand Stadium.

FOLLOW @KEVINMURFEE ON TWITTER! writer Kevin Murphy was born and raised in Tucson, and has followed Arizona Wildcats athletics since childhood. Murphy is a journalist product manager with the Green Valley News & the Sahuarita Sun. He has a bachelor’s degree from the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at ASU.

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