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ASU Softball: Huskies offense explodes in series finale win over the Sun Devils

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It got ugly fast

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

Sixth-ranked Washington (24-4, 3-2 Pac-12) isn’t a team that will waste second chances. No. 14 Arizona State (19-8, 2-4) learned that the hard way in the second inning on Sunday.

Sun Devil starting pitcher Lindsay Lopez induced two potential groundball double-plays, but both were thrown into the outfield by Arizona State infielders.

That allowed the top of the Washington lineup to see Lopez for a second time. Baylee Klingler and Sami Reynolds made the most of their opportunities and smashed back-to-back to home runs.

An inning that in retrospect should’ve been scoreless turned into a five-run frame that the Huskies used on their way to an 11-1 win in the series finale.

“There wasn’t one part of our game that we did well. When you’re playing a Pac-12 opponent, a top-10 program, it’s going to get ugly fast,” Arizona State coach Trisha Ford said. “Then you’re trying to score double-digit runs off of Gabbie Plain with a days rest, it’s not a good combination. Our heads were not right for today’s game.”

Meanwhile, Plain bounced back after her worst start of the season on Friday. The Washington ace only allowed four hits through five innings; a solo home run to Yanni Acuna, and three singles. She did it without her typical strikeout numbers. Instead she produced a lot of weak fly outs.

On the other side, Lopez threw 2.1 innings and allowed eight runs, however, only three were earned. Allison Royalty finished the game and really only had one major mistake on a home run ball in her 2.2 innings of work.

Washington’s offense continued the momentum it started on Saturday night after being dormant through the first two games.

Catcher Morganne Flores had the three-run home run off of Royalty and added an RBI in the first inning. Designated player Noelle Hee also hit her second blast of the series as well.

Acuna was given at-bats in the designated player spot in the final two games of the series and hit two home runs in those chances. Given the success, she might have earned more of an everyday spot going forward.

“She’s coming along really nicely,” Ford said. “I’m proud of her progress, her work ethic, and we are just going to have to keep giving her opportunities.”

Arizona State heads to Utah for five games in four days next week. Both opponents are teams the Sun Devils have already faced this season.

On Wednesday, it’ll be a non-conference slate against BYU. Then they’ll have their four-game Pac-12 series versus Utah starting on Thursday.