Nearly a year removed from when they opened up the 2018 Women’s College World Series, Arizona State (30-18, 10-11 Pac-12) and Oregon (22-27, 5-16) haven’t replicated their success from last season.
Two teams that lost key pieces due to transfer will face in the last regular season weekend for softball. ASU will being heading to postseason, while the Ducks won’t. The teams have also played at two different level before they meet. The Sun Devils have won five of their last six, while Oregon has only had one victory in their last six games.
Game Times/Where to Watch:
Game one: Thursday, May 9 at 5:00 p.m. MST/Pac-12 Networks
Game two: Saturday, May 10 at 5:00 p.m. MST/Pac-12 Networks
Game three: Sunday, May 11 at 12:00 p.m. MST/Pac-12 Networks
A Look at the Ducks
Far from the Oregon team ASU faced at the Women’s College World Series, the Ducks have seen a drop off in Melysaa Lombardi’s first season as head coach. Of course, many were shocked to see Mike White’s departure to Texas. The Ducks’ roster of stars such as Miranda Elish, Megan Kleist, Shannon Rhodes, Mary Iakopo and others all transferred.
Despite the losing record, Oregon has put together victories against No. 3 UCLA and No. 10 LSU, thanks to the performances of Jordan Dali and April Utecht.
Dali, a left-handed pitcher transferred in from Virginia Tech before the season, has been the workhorse in the circle. She has pitched 232.2 innings this season, the next closest Duck has tossed just 43 frames. Dali currently ranks second in the Pac-12 with 229 strikeouts.
Utecht leads Oregon with 10 blasts, two of them coming in the wins against top-ten opponents. The biggest news for the Oregon lineup is that center fielder Haley Curse, who leads the team in average, and shortstop Jasmine Sievers missed last weekend’s series against Utah. Lombardi is optimistic the pair will play this weekend.
Details on the Devils
It’s easy to see look over ASU’s stats and see where the offense comes from. Outfielders Morgan Howe and Kindra Hackbarth each possess an average over .400 and are top-four in the category in the conference. The pair each had six hits in the series win over Cal.
The staff of Cielo Meza, Samantha Mejia and Abby Andersen have allowed 45 homers this season. Although, over the past two weekends. they’ve kept that number to four. It doesn’t need to be perfect for the Sun Devils in the circle, if the trio can keep limiting others, their offense will take care of the rest.