OKLAHOMA CITY - Arizona State's softball team has relied heavily on freshman phenom Dallas Escobedo in the 2011 Women's College World Series.
But on Monday night, the hard-throwing righty got a much-needed laugher as her team's offense dropped 14 runs on a shell-shocked Florida Gators team (56-11) en route to a 14-4 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-three national championship series.
The Sun Devils and Gators meet again Tuesday night at 5 p.m. at ASA Hall of Fame Stadium on ESPN2.
"It's just another day at the office," ASU coach Clint Myers said. "We still have to go out and battle a very competitive team."
The Sun Devils (58-6) jumped all over the Gators' All-American freshman Hannah Rogers. ASU chased her from the contest after just 2.1 innings.
During that time, Rogers tied a career-high by giving up 10 runs and continued her control struggles against the Sun Devils by walking four.
"I think we were just being more aggressive and hitting our pitches and not chasing her balls," ASU second baseman Sam Parlich said.
Helping key ASU's attack on the freshman was the 3-4-5 holes, which combined to go 7-for-10 with a walk, two home runs and 10 RBIs.
Kaylyn Castillo, Annie Lockwood and Krista Donnenwirth had sat and watched the opposing Gators put on a record-setting offensive display on Sunday against the Crimson Tide and wanted to show their own prowess.
"We wanted to come out and prove a point that we had a great offense," five-hole hitter Krista Donnenwirth said.
ASU's bats flourished early and often. First in a six-run second that saw ASU send nine batters to the plate and pick up three-consecutive RBI hits, culminating with a Donnenwirth shot to the left-field bleachers.
That outburst was followed by a three-spot in the third off more of a small ball approach.
All the while, Escobedo stayed steady. She worked over a Gators lineup frustrated by the presence of home plate umpire Chris Drumm -- who the Gators had previously complained about after Friday night's game.
"I'm looking forward to playing ASU without her behind the plate," left fielder Kelsey Bruder said. "Not making any excuses, ASU absolutely kicked our butts and they deserved to win today, but it was really hard adjusting to the inconsistent calls."
ASU's freshman threw a complete game and surrendered four late runs, but struck out seven and allowed five hits. She was aided by a number of spectacular defensive plays, especially from Donnenwirth at third.
"I think we're just reminding Dallas that she does have a good defense and it's OK to let them hit the ball every now and then," Castillo said. "Keep the pressure off of her."
Entering the sixth inning, Escobedo had allowed just two hits. With her 36th victory of the season, she is now the winningest freshman pitcher in Sun Devils history.
With the win, Arizona State is now just one win away from its second national championship in softball. ASU's catcher insisted that her team will not let up, citing Florida's ability to score runs as a precautionary motive.