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Wildcats’ Banister makes ASU pay for walks

Citizen Staff Writer



Once burned. Twice beaten.

Perhaps the Arizona State Sun Devils will show some respect for Arizona’s Sam “Bam” Banister in the future.

The visitors gambled, lost and had a pair of three-run homers from the Wildcat senior first baseman to show for it – along with a 10-8 loss to UA on Friday night at Hillenbrand Stadium.

Arizona (33-9, 5-2) hit five homers in the game, the last from Banister in the sixth inning after ASU scored six runs in the top of the inning to take a 7-6 lead.

“It would have been a tough loss to swallow,” Arizona coach Mike Candrea said. “Sam haunted them.”

Her first homer on the first pitch from 6-foot-2 freshman Hillary Bach (19-3) was hit high through a gusting wind to left field in the third after ASU (34-8, 4-3) intentionally walked UA slugger Stacie Chambers. That gave UA a 5-2 lead.

The game-winning runs came on a 1-1 pitch after ASU intentionally walked UA slugger Chambers.

Sound familiar?

“The same pitch, same spot,” Banister said. “I think it was a screwball or something inside. No, I wasn’t insulted that they walked her to pitch to me. I expected it.”

Candrea wasn’t surprised by Banister’s six-RBI night.

“I knew if somebody could get one up in the wind blowing out it would be done. Slap hits could have gone out tonight.”

Banister weighed the suggestion she can be overlooked because, as Candrea said, she can be “laughing and giggly.”

“People might think I’m ditzy or something but I was never more serious (than) tonight.”

Sarah Akamine gave up four earned runs in 6 1/3 innings for UA. Jennifer Martinez (8-3) got the win despite allowing three earned runs in two-thirds of an inning.

Akamine started and finished the game, which is allowed in softball. She earned her first save of the year.

The teams meet again at 7 p.m. Saturday.

• Box score, 4C

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