Karen Ambrose Hickey/Stanford Athletics

Card Drops Series

STANFORD, Calif. - Stanford scored four runs in the first inning, but could not muster anything further the rest of the way, as the Cardinal (31-12, 7-7 Pac-12) suffered a 7-4 setback at the hands of Arizona State (27-17, 7-10 Pac-12) on Saturday.

With the win, Arizona State secured the series victory over Stanford.

Morgan Howe led the way offensively for ASU, batting 3-for-4 with a pair of doubles, a homer and four RBI. Howe doubled in the first and second innings, driving in two runs with her two-bagger in the second, before launching a solo homer in the fourth to draw the Sun Devils even at 4-4.

Kindra Hackbarth also homered for ASU, adding an insurance run with a solo-shot in the seventh to push the tally to the eventual final of 7-4.

After giving up a run in the top of the first, the Card scored four runs on two hits in the home half of the inning. Teaghan Cowles led off with a hit-by-pitch before Kristina Inouye drew a one-out walk. Freshman Emily Schultz pelted a double off the wall in centerfield to bring home the first run before a walk to Hannah Howell loaded the bases. ASU managed to get the second out without Stanford advancing the runners, but a walk to Whitney Burks and an Emily Klingaman hit-by-pitch forced in two more runs to hand the Cardinal a 3-1 advantage. Taylor Gindlesperger capped the scoring one play later, lining an RBI-single into centerfield.

Howe's two-RBI double in the second drew ASU to within a run at 4-3, and her 10th homer of the season tied the game in the fourth. The Sun Devils would add two more runs in that fourth inning on a two-RBI double from DeNae Chatman, taking a 6-4 lead into the bottom of the frame.

All four of Stanford's runs were charged to starter Samantha Mejia, but the Card seemingly could not figure out reliever Abby Andersen. Andersen dealt 4.1 scoreless innings, allowing just two hits, en route to picking up the win and moving to 10-7. Cielo Meza tossed the final 2.1 innings to secure the save – her first of the season.

Stanford starter Nikki Bauer was charged with the loss after allowing six runs on nine hits and four walks over 3.1 innings in the circle. The decision dropped Bauer, who was making her first start of the year, to 2-1 on the season.

Freshman Molly Millar pitched well out of the bullpen, keeping the Card in the contest by tossing 3.2 innings and allowing just one run on four hits with two strikeouts.

The Cardinal will attempt to salvage the series when the two teams play the finale at 1 p.m. on Sunday.