The Sun Devils’ senior class of Breanna Macha, Marisa Stankiewicz, Dale Ryndak, Nichole Chilson, Brynley Steele and Kwyn Cooper will take part in their final regular season home games at Farrington Stadium this weekend. Although the seniors don’t have to say goodbye to Farrington just yet, as the Sun Devils are in a good position to host an NCAA regional in a few weeks.
No. 8 Arizona State (39-9, 12-6 Pac-12) will take on Stanford (23-26, 2-16) in the Sun Devils’ last home series of the regular season. The Cardinal have seen a fair share of struggles in its first season under head coach Jessica Allister.
But, Allister the former Minnesota head coach who lead the Golden Gophers to the top of the NFCA/USA Today rankings last year has seen strides. Stanford already has obtained their first 20-plus win season since 2014.
Arizona State can’t overlook the Cardinal because even with only two conference wins this season, one stands out. Stanford was able to travel to Los Angeles and take one game from the top-ranked Bruins.
The Sun Devils look to continue their four-game winning streak they are on after sweeping Utah on the road and taking a game from New Mexico State in Las Cruces on Tuesday.
Macha and the sophomore lefty Giselle “G” Juarez will continue to be in the circle for Arizona State. They’ll have less to worry about as the Cardinals don’t hit a lot of long balls as they’ve only had two in Pac-12 play.
The Cardinal led in average by a group of three sophomores of left fielder Hannah Howell, third baseman Teaghan Cowles and shortstop Kristina Inouye, who are all batting above .310. Inouye is the only one with home runs this season as she has hit three.
In the opposing circle, the Sun Devils will face Stanford’s right-handed pitching committee of freshman Maddy Dwyer (12-8/2.10 ERA), sophomore Nikki Bauer (2-5/3.42) and junior Carolyn Lee (3-10/6.65).
Another nugget to look for is if the Sun Devils’ head coach will continue to put junior third baseman Taylor Becerra in the two-spot of the lineup after dropping sophomore Jade Gortarez to sixth in the order before the second game in Utah.
This series may not look like the toughest on paper, but the Sun Devils must use it as a building block for momentum before traveling to Los Angeles to face No. 1 UCLA to finish the regular season next week.