'Sunday Night Softball' preview: No. 23 Arizona State vs No. 3 Arizona
Who: No. 23 Arizona State at No. 3 Arizona
On the call: Kate Scott and Teri Goldberg
On the home side: Arizona (46-5 overall, 16-4 in Pac-12)
The Wildcats are sitting in first place atop the Pac-12 standings having only lost four conference games, two of which came against Utah. The 'Cats took game one of this series, but Arizona State rebounded to take game two. Both teams will look to gain ground against their in-state rival in the Territorial Cup series finale.
Wildcats to watch:
Jessie Harper, INF, Freshman:
Harper had one of her best games of the season against the Sun Devils, going 3-for-3 with the game-winning RBI double in the first game of this series. The freshman is a key presence in the 'Cats veteran lineup and, in case you forgot, is capable of doing this:
Jessie Harper, Larry Scott would like to see you in his office.https://t.co/phNSsxX9zR
— Arizona Softball (@UA_Softball) March 31, 2017
Katiyana Mauga, 3B, Senior:
Mauga has 89 career home runs, which is an Arizona program record. The NCAA record is 95, held by Oklahoma's Lauren Chamberlain. Let's do the easy math: Mauga needs just seven home runs to break the record and four regular season--plus postseason--games to get there. Can she do it? It'll be fun to watch and see! Here's her 88th:
— Sports Illustrated (@SInow) April 22, 2017
Mandie Perez, OF, Redshirt Senior:
Perez is a consistent force in the lineup, a table setter. She leads the team in on-base percentage (.505) and holds a .369 average. She is also a force in the outfield:
Diving catch in left for Mandie Perez. One down in the seventh.https://t.co/rhqHEANGpD
— Arizona Softball (@UA_Softball) April 29, 2017
On the visitor's side: Arizona State (28-15 overall, 7-10 in Pac-12)
At the middle of the pack in the standings, ASU could use a boost and an upset in rival territory on Saturday night was a step in the right direction. Taking the series on Sunday could really do the trick. The Sun Devils certainly have the talent.
Sun Devils to watch:
Chelsea Gonzalez, SS, Senior:
Gonzalez is the Sun Devils' offensive machine, leading her team in almost every category. She has a .362 average with 11 doubles, 10 home runs, two triples and 42 RBIs.
Fa Leilua, OF, Sophomore:
The sophomore out of Manhattan Beach, California has some pop, too. She sits just behind teammate Gonzalez in slugging percentage (.617) and has nine home runs, six doubles and 32 RBI in 94 at-bats. Here's one of her more memorable dingers this season:
GRAND SLAM ALERT
Fa Leilua knocks one out of the park for @ASUSoftball!
— Pac-12 Network (@Pac12Network) April 15, 2017
Sashel Palacios, C, Senior:
Palacios is an anchor on this Sun Devil team. Her 32 RBIs prove that she comes up clutch for her team. She also boasts a .298.