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No. 9 Softball Picks Up First Win Over No. 4 UCLA Since 2018

May 6, 2022

TEMPE, Ariz.- In the first win over the Bruins since 2018, No. 9 Arizona State (36-7, 17-2 Pac-12) took down No. 4 UCLA (39-7, 15-4 Pac-12) in the first of a three-game series on Friday night at Farrington Stadium.
The six runs the Sun Devils scored are the most in a win over the Bruins since 2015 after ASU hit three home runs. 2015 was also the last season the Sun Devils hit three or more home runs against UCLA.
"I just think we're tough up and down the lineup," head coach Trisha Ford said. "We just have the ability to hurt you and we have a good mixture of lefties and righties so I think we are locked in now and are in a good place."
Alynah Torres got off to a hot start for the Sun Devils in the leadoff spot as she hit a home run in the bottom of the first for the Sun Devils as she had her fifth leadoff homer of the season for ASU to give them the early lead.
Yanni Acuña hit her 12th home run of the season in a two-run homer in the bottom of the third inning to give ASU the 3-0 lead. UCLA got on the board off a single in the bottom of the fourth, but a two-run home run from Jazmine Hill in the bottom of the fifth inning helped the Sun Devils cruise to a 6-1 victory to start the series.
Lindsay Lopez got the start in the circle for ASU where she picked up her 10th win of the season. She pitched the entire game for the Sun Devils where she had seven strikeouts and allowed one run and one walk.
Arizona State 6, UCLA 1

  • Lindsay Lopez had a 1-2-3 inning in the circle for the Sun Devils going into the bottom of the first. Alynah Torres in the leadoff spot homered to center field to give ASU the early 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first.
  • Lopez did exactly as she did the first inning in the top of the second facing only three batters to keep ASU ahead. In the Sun Devils' half of the second frame, they were scoreless while remaining ahead.
  • In ASU's half of the third inning, Torres doubled to left field and Jordyn Vanhook came in for her as a pinch runner. Next to bat was Yanni Acuña who hit a two-run home run to right field to make it 3-0 for ASU. Cydney Sanders doubled to right center and Jasmine Hill's single that brought her to second on a throw brought in Sanders for the Sun Devils' fourth run of the evening.
  • UCLA had a leadoff runner reach second in  the top of the fourth and got on the board off a single to center field to make it 4-1 for ASU. Halle Harger doubled to center field in the bottom of the fourth and Savannah Price came in as a pinch runner. Price advanced to third off a sac bunt from Jessica Puk, but was left stranded.
  • The Bruins had a leadoff double in the top of the fifth and a single brought the UCLA runner to third, but Lopez struck out her final batter to leave the top of the fifth frame scoreless. Acuña doubled to right field in the Sun Devils' half of the fifth inning and a two-run home run from Hill gave ASU a five-run lead going into the sixth inning, 6-1.

Head coach Trisha Ford
On starting the series with a win
"I think it's super important. It was a huge for us, they did a tremendous job and it's a great win for us."
On Yanni Acuña's catch
"Yanni does a tremendous job for us in right field. I think she has three or four of those types of catches for us this year. Any ball that up in the air, I know she's got a shot and she did a great job. She got a good read on it and went all the way out and made a big play for us. That's what it's going to take to beat a team like UCLA. We're going to have to make some of those plays."
On the team's strategy for the rest of the series
"Honestly, our strategy stays the same. Our strategy is get good pitches to hit, we can't miss on those opportunities and really shrink the zone. In the circle, it's to make sure we're making big pitches when we need to."
On how this season has helped the team progress overall
"We have been talking about this a lot, this is what we've been wanting, this is what we've been playing for. Our hopes are to create a vision of what this program is  as we're putting those pieces together."
On Lopez's toughness
"She's just been in these situations and she pitched every single series last year. I just think she's learned from it and what Lindsay has done besides getting her skill set refined, she also just has had huge leaps and bounds with her mental side of things and she's really concentrated and wants to be the best."
Alynah Torres
On Lindsay Lopez's performance today
"Lindsay always comes through when we need it. I think she's grown so much and she's doing an awesome job. I think today she won every single pitch."
On winning the first game of the series
"It's always a battle with UCLA and getting the first one in the series is going to help us out a lot because now we know what we can do and what they can do."
On the implications of the series
"Yeah it's a big weekend but I think everything is on our side right now. We're here with our fans and our fans our awesome and everything is going our way right now. We just need to stick to the plan and stay within us and play for each other."
On the rest of the series
"I just think staying loud, doing our thing. We are a really good team and I think when we're just having fun we do our best."
Junior pitcher Lindsay Lopez
On mindset through UCLA series
"It's always been me against me, it's never been me against another team, so that has been my mindset. As a pitcher, whenever I go in I look at it as if the score is 0-0 and that's the key to my mindset, too."
On setting tempo for the rest of the series and her team's support
"It's really big knowing that we have the upper hand, but it's not over. We have tomorrow and Sunday, I just love knowing everyone has my back when I turn around after someone has a hit."

  • Sun Devil Softball is 30-0 when scoring more than six runs this season as they remain undefeated in conference play at Farrington Stadium.
  • Five Sun Devils have 10 or more home runs on the season. (Yanni Acuña, Jazmine Hill, Alynah Torres, Jazmyn Rollin and Cydney Sanders).
  • ASU is 4th in the nation in home runs per game with an average of 2.00 per game.
  • The Sun Devils are fourth in the nation in team on-base percentage (.439) and are third in team slugging percentage (.650), as that stat is first in the Pac-12.
  • ASU is first in the Pac-12 in on-base percentage and in home runs (84).
  • The Sun Devils are ninth in the country in team batting average with a .334. .
  • 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 17 home runs. She also leads the team with 53 RBIs. Sanders' slugging percentage of .982 is second in the conference and is fourth in the country.
  • In the circle, Lindsay Lopez leads the Sun Devils with a 1.48 ERA.
  • Yanni Acuña and Cydney Sanders to USA Softball's Top 25 Finalist List for the 2022 College Player of the Year. 

Game 1: Friday 5/6 5:00 p.m. MST                         ASU 6, UCLA 1
Game 2: Saturday 5/7 4:00 p.m. MST                     Live Stats | Pac-12 Network
Game 3: Sunday 5/8 12:00 p.m. MST                        Live Stats | Pac-12 Network
USA Softball/ - 9
NFCA/USA Today -  12
Softball America -  11
D1 Softball -  11