On Saturday night, six of Oregon’s 13 hits left Farrington stadium. And for the first time all season, the Sun Devils dropped two consecutive games.
No. 7 Arizona State (33-7, Pac-12 7-4) fell to the 3rd-ranked Ducks (34-6, 9-2) for the second straight night in Tempe by a score of 9-1.
Senior right-handed pitcher Breanna Macha threw a flawless first inning. But after that the Ducks had her number. On the first pitch of the second inning, Oregon’s senior left fielder Gwen Svekis sent a no-doubter home run to right center to put the Ducks up 1-0.
The Ducks kept the home runs going in the second inning to extend their lead to three when senior second baseman Lauren Lindvall hit a two-run home run. Oregon added another run in the third from back-to-back doubles. It wouldn’t be the last time the Ducks did something back-to-back.
“Coach said it best, ‘balls can’t be leaving the park unless it’s on our side,” Macha said.
In the fifth inning, Svekis hit her second home run of the game. The Ducks’ freshman catcher Mary Iakopo followed Svekis up with a home run of her own and her second of the series to put Oregon up 6-0.
Ducks’ junior pinch hitter April Utecht sent a pitch from the Devils’ senior right-handed pitcher Dale Ryndak over the scoreboard for a two-run home run to increase the lead to seven. Senior shortstop DJ Sanders joined the party with a solo shot of her own in the seventh inning to make it 9-1.
The Sun Devils’ bats struggled again in the loss as well. Except for a booming home run from freshman designated player DeNae Chatman in the fifth inning, Oregon’s sophomore right-handed pitcher Miranda Elish had her way against Arizona State. ASU only managed four hits and the one run against Elish.
You can put that one on the board pic.twitter.com/TEU7nw8wRV— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) April 15, 2018
“We sat as a staff. Our at-bats weren’t going as we wanted yesterday, so we’re like ‘hey let’s give her a try and see what see looks like with three at-bats,” Sun Devils’ head coach Trisha Ford said about Chatman. “DeNae always has that threat of that long ball. She delivered. It was kind of neat for her to come up, just swing and let loose. And ball went far.”
Arizona State’s offense has now only scored five runs over their past 36 innings across the past four games.
“It is frustrating. We prepared all week for Elish and (Oregon pitcher Megan) Kleist. Sometimes things just don’t go your way,” ASU’s junior third baseman Taylor Becerra said about the offensive struggles. “They’re good pitchers, it’s not like we’re not prepared. But I think just trying to get the momentum back is the most important part.”
On a more positive note for Arizona State, it went flawless in the field after committing three errors on Friday night.
“It’s great positivity we can take from this,” Macha said. “We’ve been working really hard with our defense and I just think when we put everything together we can beat a top three team. So, everything just needs to come together.”
The Sun Devils will send left-handed pitcher Giselle “G” Juarez to the circle to avoid the sweep on Sunday.