Sun Devils Look to Rubber Match as They Fall to the Bruins 9-3
TEMPE, Ariz.- No. 9 Arizona State (36-8, Pac-12 17-3) dropped the second game of their series with No. 4 UCLA (40-7, Pac-12 16-4) by a final score of 3-9, Saturday afternoon. With the series even, the rubber match is set for tomorrow, Sunday May 8th at 12 noon MST.
It was a dog fight from first pitch as the Sun Devils as had to battle being down 4-0 after the first inning. Jazmine Hill started off the same way she finished yesterday, with a two-run homer in the bottom of the first inning, to make it 4-2.
Hill brought in another run off a sac ground out to bring the Sun Devils within one. She led the Sun Devils offensively, accounting for all three runs scored. After the third inning, UCLA didn't look back as they added five runs to give them the win.
Freshman Mac Morgan started in the circle for the Sun Devils but was replaced by Marissa Schuld in the top of the first inning. Schuld threw 3.1 innings and was relieved for Allison Royalty in the top of the fourth. Royalty ended the ballgame with three strikeouts and limited to UCLA to one run over the remainder of the game.
Tomorrow's game is Sun Devil softball's last regular season game at Farrington Stadium. This will be senior day as all three Sun Devil seniors, Bella Loomis, Jessica Puk, and Mailey McLemore will be celebrated after the game.
HOW IT HAPPENED:
Arizona State 3, UCLA 9
After three singles and an error by ASU, the Bruins scored two runs with no outs in the top of the first. After a pitching change for the Sun Devils, UCLA tacked on two more runs. ASU was down 0-4 going into the bottom of the first.
Yanni Acuña reached first base due to an error by the first baseman. Following, Cydney Sanders reached first due to a fielder's choice; Acuña was out at second base. With Jazmine Hill at the plate, Sanders stole second to put herself in scoring position. With a full count Hill homered to left-center, cutting the deficit in half. The score was 2-4 in favor of UCLA going into the second.
With one out in the bottom of the second inning, Halle Harger singled into center field. Harger was stranded to end the inning, the score still 2-4 UCLA heading into the third inning.
Alynah Torres reached first base, to lead off the bottom of the third, after an error by the shortstop. Acuña reached base after getting hit by a pitch, advancing Torres to second who was then pinch ran for by Jordyn VanHook. Sanders then drew a walk to load the bases for the Sun Devils with no outs in the inning, which forced UCLA to make a pitching change. Hill then grounded out to second, scoring VanHook from third. The score now 3-4 UCLA heading into the fourth.
UCLA hit a three-run homer followed by a solo home run in the top of the fourth inning to extend their lead to 3-8.
The Sun Devils failed to score in the bottom of the fourth. The score was still 3-8 UCLA heading into the fifth inning.
Neither team scored in the fifth or sixth innings, and the score was still 3-8 UCLA heading into the seventh.
The Bruins added another run at the top of the seventh inning, adding to their lead which stood at 3-9, which was the final score.
Head coach Trisha Ford
On Today's Outcome
"We did a good job of answering back after being down early. We stuck to the plan, and then we slipped from that, but that's why you play three games, right? Tomorrow is a good day and we're gonna find out who takes the series. I'm glad we're home at Farrington, and it's going to be a tough one, but I'm excited for it."
On UCLA's Defense
"It was one of those days where it was going to be tough for us. We have to embrace it and know that we're better than that. It's going to be tough and it's going to be hard but this is good, because it's getting us ready for Regionals and Super Regionals."
On Tomorrow's Rubber match
"I think the biggest thing we can do is watch film and learn what we did wrong in today's game. We have to learn from it and come back and start the game strong."
Sun Devil Softball is 30-0 when scoring more than six runs this season as they remain undefeated in conference play at Farrington Stadium.
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 ASU 3, UCLA 9
USA Softball/ESPN.com - 9
NFCA/USA Today - 12
Softball America - 11
D1 Softball - 11