The bats got hot for Arizona State’s No. 22 softball (19-5) at just the right time as the Sun Devils enter conference play this weekend. ASU will host No. 23 Oregon State Friday through Sunday at Farrington Stadium.
ASU exits the non-conference schedule on an eight-game winning streak. ASU’s defense thrived last weekend and allowed just three runs in five games. In the midweek game against Marist, ASU won its fourth run-rule game in the last six games.
The circle has been ASU’s forte. Rookie Mac Morgan threw shutouts against BYU and New Mexico State for his ninth team-leading win. Senior Marissa Schuld leads the team with 65 strikeouts and had 10 against Marist in Tuesday’s game. Junior Lindsay Lopez has the best earned run average in an already stingy squad with 0.85.
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Senior Yannira Acuna leads ASU with a .492 batting average and eight homers. Acuna hit five home runs last weekend at the Sun Devil Classic. Freshman Cydney Sanders had 27 RBIs and walked a team-high 18 while also hitting .466. Junior Alynah Torres had 10 doubles with a .406 batting average.
Oregon State (22-4) is led offensively by rookie Eliana Gottlieb’s 24 runs and junior Frankie Hammoude’s nine homers and .468 batting average. Sophomore Tarni Stepto has held hitters to a .155 batting average and is 8-1 this season.
Friday’s game starts at 6 p.m., Saturday at 4 p.m. and Sunday at 1 p.m. All matches will be available on ASU’s live stream.
ASU Gymnastics No. 14 will compete in Saturday evening’s session at the Pac-12 Championships at the Maverik Center in West Valley City, Utah at 5 p.m. MST. The Sun Devils (6-4, 5-2 Pac-12) will face the Pac-12’s best competition in the evening session, including No. 1 seed Utah (10-3), top seed No. 2 Cal (7-3) and No. 3 seeded Oregon State (8-2). Junior Hannah Scharf is currently ranked No. 12 in the all-around nationally. Scharf has won five all-around titles and six additional event titles this season. Freshman Alex Theodorou is ranked in the top 25 on vault with three event wins and a career-high 9.925 this season.
The No. 9 ASU Water Polo (13-8, 1-1 Pac-12) hosts the No. 4 Cal at the Mona Plummer Aquatic Center Friday at 1 p.m. Freshman Vanda Baksa was named Mountain Pacific Sports Federation Newcomer of the Week for the second time this season after tallying 22 points (10 goals, 12 assists) at the second Arizona State Invitational. Baksa now leads the NCAA in points (102) and blocks on the field (18).
ASU Athletics will host its first outdoor meet of the season with the Baldy Castillo Invitational on Friday and Saturday. Participating teams include Grand Canyon, Iowa, LSU, Northern Arizona, Ohio State, Texas A&M and Washington State.
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