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ASU Softball: Territorial Cup matchup is something old, something new for No. 8 Sun Devils

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Fresno State transfers weigh in on the upcoming series

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

It is the matchup that the entire No. 8 Sun Devil (34-7, 8-4 Pac-12) team is talking about; some from experience and some for the first time.

Arizona State will host the No. 13 Arizona Wildcats (29-12, 6-9) for a weekend series with games on Friday and Sunday at 5 p.m. and Saturday at 2 p.m. All games will be broadcast on Pac-12 Network.

For redshirt senior Marisa Stankiewicz, this matchup is nothing new.

“Being here for the longest of the girls, I know what the rivalry really means,” Stankiewicz said. “I hope our babies from this year can now hear it from me saying the rivalry maintains the same.”

Stankiewicz reminisced about receiving the same speeches when she was a freshman, but she certainly was never a stranger.

Her brother Drew was an ASU baseball standout who is currently in the Philadelphia Phillies’ system. And while he won’t be there this weekend, Marisa will get family support.

“My mom will be loud enough for everyone she is the crazy lady in the stands,” Stankiewicz said.

From the opposite end of the spectrum, there is inexperience with this matchup, but not because they are freshmen.

Fresno State transfers Morgan Howe and Kindra Hackbarth said that they never experienced a matchup quite like this.

"I wish I was as excited as everybody else," Howe said. "I feel like you have to experience it one time to really understand the hype of it."

Hackbarth then added.

"I'm not going to say I don't understand it because I do," She said. "But I'm new so I haven't taken it in yet."

There is a lot for the duo to look forward to beyond just the rivalry.

Despite coming off a doubleheader sweep of New Mexico State, Arizona has been swept in its last two series against the conference. During that six-game span, they were outscored by opponents 47 to 14.

Arizona State currently is fourth in the conference standings. Arizona is sixth.

"It's rivalry week," head coach Trisha Ford simply said.

With so much buzz around this matchup, Ford has stressed the importance of keeping the blinders on.

"If they can really learn to take that emotional part out of the game, it just becomes very simple," Ford said. "They need to take in the information, be more business like and less emotionally attached to the outcome, but more emotionally invested in the process."