No. 9 Softball Run-Rule Cal Sunday for Weekend Sweep
TEMPE, Ariz.– In its fifth conference series sweep of the season, No. 9 Arizona State (35-7, 16-2 Pac-12) shutout Cal (26-23-1, 6-12 Pac-12) on Sunday at Farrington as the Sun Devils are now in sole possession of the Pac-12. This is also the third game of the season where ASU has had a run in each inning they've played.
To get things started for the Sun Devils, senior Yanni Acuña hit a home run to right field and next up to bat was freshman standout Cydney Sanders who homered to left field to give ASU the early 2-0 lead. This was the sixth time this season the Sun Devils have had back-to-back home runs.
Alynah Torres homered to left field in the bottom of the second inning for a two-run home run to also bring in Jessi Puk. After Torres' home run, this is the 10th game where Arizona State has had three or more home runs.
The Sun Devils scored in the third inning off a fielder's choice from Halle Harger and another run came in the bottom of the fourth off a walk from Jazmyn Rollin with the bases loaded to bring in Acuña.
"I think we can be lethal from top-to-bottom," head coach Trisha Ford said. "We can hit the ball hard but more importantly we're making pitchers bring the ball over the plate. We're deadly when walking and getting big hits."
To give ASU their seventh run-rule win of conference play, Sanders singled to second base to score Emily Cazares and Bella Loomis to give the Sun Devils an 8-0 win.
Junior Lindsay Lopez got her second start of the weekend in the circle, going for all five innings. Lopez gave up no runs and struck out two batters en route to her ninth win of the season in just 66 pitches.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Arizona State 8, Cal 0
- Yanni Acuña homered to right field to get things started for the Sun Devils in the top of the first to give them the early 1-0 lead. Next up to bat was Cydney Sanders who hit a home run to left field to give ASU a 2-0 lead.
- Cal got two runners on base in the top of the second, but remained scoreless going into ASU's half of the second inning. Jessi Puk singled to left field and Alynah Torres homered to left field to make it 4-0 for the Sun Devils.
- Jazmyn Rollin walked and advanced to third off a Makenna Harper double in the bottom of the third. Halle Harger reached on a fielder's choice, scoring Rollin to give ASU a 5-0 lead.
- The Golden Bears remained scoreless in the top of the fourth inning. With the bases loaded for the Sun Devils in the bottom of the fourth, Rollin walked in Acuña to push ASU ahead 6-0.
- In the bottom of the fifth, Sanders singled to second base, which brought in Bella Loomis and pinch runner Emily Cazares to give ASU the run-rule win, 8-0.
Head coach Trisha Ford
On Lopez's second start of series
"I think Lindsay did a tremendous job. She's just somebody who has pitched a lot of innings for us throughout her whole career here. She just battles through and I think all of our pitchers do that, they just come out and battle and battle. I thought she just gave out really good pitches when she needed to."
On Cydney Sanders' performance throughout weekend
"I enjoy watching her play. Like I get four years of that kid, like take it in. I think the other thing is she continues to be put in those pressure situations, she's a very professional hitter and excels in those situations. Even in that last at-bat, she swung on a bad pitch and then she worked it and worked it, she's just a lot of fun."
On how confident the team is going into UCLA:
"I think our confidence is great, I think we are happy to be in Farrington, we're happy to be home, obviously we had a hiccup at Stanford but all great teams have hiccups, so that's how you respond, I thought this weekend we did a tremendous job. I know that there is going to be a lot of talk this week about UCLA but really it's not about UCLA, its about us and us being able to make the pitches when we need to make pitches, field, catch and coming up with the big hit."
On her performance recently
"This week for sure has been a breakthrough for me. But it really comes down to trusting the team. If the team is doing good we're all doing good. Confidence is key in this sport and I think i learned that this year, after the ups and downs, but confidence is key."
On Lindsay Lopez's performance today
"She keeps us in ballgames. That goes to our whole pitching staff, but props to Lindsay for keeping us in the game and letting us work at the plate. She did an amazing job."
On looking forward to the UCLA series
"I think we're just going to stay us, stay to our plan and don't let anything get our heads too big. I think we just need to stay within us, trust our process and I think we'll do really great things."
"They have been a top program the last 20 years but at the same time they're a competitor. But who cares what the chest says be your best every single day. So I think coming in knowing it's UCLA we want to come out even harder, but I think it's going to be a good series."
On Jessica Puk's performance today
"Jess is a trooper and she's the epitome of a teammate. She is the greatest behind the plate. She catches every single came so hats off to her. She's amazing so I'm really grateful to have her behind there."
On Her Performance:
"I'm pretty proud of myself because when I came in on Friday I wasn't where I wanted to be. So to come out today and perform the way I did really felt good. The offense had my back and when they're on like that I feel that I can go out there and throw my game. If I make a mistake I know they will have my back."
On Upcoming UCLA Series
"I'm very excited, I know I need to keep what I had today and I'll be good. As a team we're very excited but we l have to keep our heads down and keep doing what we're doing."
- In the last 12 games at Farrington against Cal, the Sun Devils are 9-3 and have outscored the Golden Bears 90-49.
- Historically, Arizona State is 62-69 against California but have won seven straight series against California.
- Five Sun Devils have 10 or more home runs on the season. (Yanni Acuña, Jazmine Hill, Alynah Torres, Jazmyn Rollin and Cydney Sanders)
- Sun Devil Softball is 27-0 when scoring more than six runs this season.
- ASU is 4th in the nation in home runs per game with an average of 1.97 per game.
- The Sun Devils are 4th in the nation in team on-base percentage (.434) and 3rd in team slugging percentage (.643).
- ASU is 1st in the Pac-12 in bat- ting average, slugging percent- age, on base percentage, total bases and home runs.
- The Sun Devils are 5th in the country in team batting average.
- Yanni Acuña's batting average ranks 7th overall in the country.
- Acuña and Sanders are 2nd and 3rd, respectively, in the Pac-12 in batting average. They are also 1st and 2nd, respectively, in on-base percentage in the Pac-12.
- True freshman Cydney Sanders leads the Sun Devils with 15 home runs. She also leads the team with 50 RBIs.
- In the circle, Lindsay Lopez leads the Sun Devils with a 1.38 ERA.
- Yanni Acuña and Cydney Sanders to USA Softball's Top 25 Finalist List for the 2022 College Player of the Year.
- ASU has hit at least one home run in a game 27 times this season.
Game 1: Friday 4/29 6:00 p.m. MST ASU 10, Cal 3
Game 2: Saturday 4/30 6:00 p.m. MST ASU 13, Cal 5
Game 3: Sunday 5/1 12:00 p.m. MST ASU 8, Cal 0
USA Softball/ESPN.com - 9
NFCA/USA Today - 14
Softball America - 11
D1 Softball - 12