Originally posted on Fox Sports Arizona  |  Last updated 5/26/13
TEMPE, Ariz. -- A three-run homer by Cheyenne Coyle gave Arizona State an early lead, and the Sun Devils held on to beat Kentucky 5-4 in Game 1 of the best-of-three Super Regional on Saturday at Farrington Stadium. With the win, ASU (49-10) is just a victory away from returning to the Women's College World Series for the third consecutive season. Along with her homer, Coyle had a sacrifice fly in the fifth inning to finish with four RBI, and Alix Johnson went a team-best 3 for 3 at the plate. In the circle, Dallas Escobedo earned her 29th win of the year, and Mackenzie Popescue closed the game for her third save of the season. After two and a half innings of scoreless ball, ASU took a three-run lead after Bailey Wigness and Johnson led off the bottom of the third with back-to-back singles and Coyle followed with her 20th home run of the season. A home run by Kentucky's Christian Stokes in the top of the fifth snapped Dallas Escobedo's 35-inning scoreless streak and cut the Sun Devils' lead to 3-1. ASU would respond in the bottom of the fifth with two runs to make it 5-1. Wigness got on with a walk for her second appearance on the base paths, and Johnson scored her in the ensuing at-bat with a triple to left-center. Johnson then came home on a sacrifice fly to left by Coyle. Kentucky rallied in the top of the sixth with three home runs in the frame. Lauren Cumbess launched one to left field, Alice O'Brien roped a shot to right and Stokes hit followed with her second of the night to left-center to make it 5-4. Escobedo was relieved in the top of the seventh by Popescue, who finished off the final stanza for her third save of the year. Kelsey Nunley took the loss for Kentucky, dropping to 27-10 on the season. Game 2 of the series is scheduled for Sunday at 2 p.m.
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