clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

ASU Softball: No. 8 Sun Devils set to host No. 9 South Carolina in Tempe Super Regional

Sun Devils are two wins away from punching ticket to Oklahoma City.

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

No. 8 ASU swept its way out of the regional weekend and is set to host the Tempe Super Regional against No. 9 South Carolina.

All games can be seen on ESPN, starting Friday at 8 p.m. on ESPNU. The other game times are Saturday at 6 p.m. on ESPN2 and the same time Sunday on ESPNU if necessary.

This is the ninth time the Sun Devils have hosted a super regional in program history. And in each previous super regional in Tempe, the Sun Devils advanced to College World Series.

ASU is coming off three victories where it outscored regional opponents 18-1. It was yet another story of lights out pitching and explosive offense.

The story all season has been the pitching of sophomore Giselle “G” Juarez. Of the teams remaining, she has the second-lowest ERA at 0.88, which is one of many statistics that has her in somewhat of disbelief.

“Part of me has still not accepted what I have done this year,” Juarez said. “Being healthy has been the biggest difference and I have learned a lot from the fall and being able to watch them (Breanna Macha, Dale Ryndak and Alyssa Loza.)”

The rest of the pitching staff have certainly not slouched behind Juarez. The four have a combined for a 1.38 ERA, which is top-10 nationally.

ASU’s pitching unit faces a tough test in South Carolina who leads the nation with 64 home runs. The Gamecocks’ offense includes three players with double-digit homers this season. Senior Alyssa Vanderveer leads the way with 14 followed by freshman Alyssa Kumiyama and sophomore Cayla Drotar with 10 each.

Drotar also does work in the circle for the Gamecocks. In 34 games (30 starts), she went 21-6 with a 2.11 ERA in 172 23 innings pitched. The staff as a whole held opposing hitters to a .209 batting average for the season in the competitive SEC. The SEC alone has nine of the 16 remaining teams.

ASU comes out of a competitive conference as well. The Pac-12 could see as many as four out of its five remaining teams make the trip to Oklahoma City. No. 1 Oregon hosts No. 16 Kentucky, No. 5 Washington hosts No. 12 Alabama and No. 3 UCLA hosts No. 14 Arizona.

Despite added pressure in hosting their first Super Regional since 2013, the Sun Devils won’t change anything.

“We always say to just stay in our bubble,” Macha said. “No matter what, this is going to be us. We prepare the same way every weekend. We’re ready to play Sun Devil softball.”