No. 12 Arizona State (30-12, 10-7 Pac-12) swept the Saturday doubleheader against No. 8 Oregon (31-12, 9-8). That sets up Sunday as the rubber match for the Pac-12 series.
There was no doubt about it. The ball flew off of Maddi Hackbarth’s bat in a hurry. Not only did the two-run blast give Arizona State a lead that it never surrendered, it tied the Sun Devil single-season home run program record.
Oregon kept the contest close, but Arizona State’s five-run sixth inning put the final stamp on its 10-4 win on Saturday.
Hackbarth’s third-inning home run followed the two teams trading three-run blows in the first inning from Oregon’s Hanna Delgado and Arizona State’s Yanni Acuna.
The ASU catcher never really saw a lot to hit, including an intentional walk after her 20th home run of the season.
In the sixth inning, Oregon’s Brooke Yanez struggled to find the strike zone. Three walks loaded the bases for Jazmine Hill. She picked a good time for her first hit of the series. Hill hit one through the middle to bring in two runs.
Alynah Torres drove in another run after her. Acuna lined one into the outfield to bring in another pair of runs and add the exclamation point onto the frame.
Delgado hit her home run off of Allison Royalty, who started in the circle. Royalty quickly found her groove after that.
The Ducks only had two more hits against her in the next three innings and Royalty had a clutch strikeout of Deijah Pangilinan to strand runners at the corners.
Lindsay Lopez came into the circle to start the fifth inning. She gave Trisha Ford three innings of relief, allowing only one run.
Royalty led Arizona State to a 4-1 win over Oregon in the second leg of the doubleheader.
The freshman right-hander had a perfect game through four innings. She eventually walked a batter and yielded a hit, but kept Oregon off the board for 5.1 innings. Royalty struck out four in that span. She was also super efficient, needing only 74 pitches for 16 outs.
The offense came from Savannah Price and Acuna. Each hit a two-run home run in the second inning.
Price got the start at second base over Brittany Holland and Halle Harger, it worked out, as she sent out her first career round-tripper. It was Acuna’s second home run of the day and fifth of the season.
Oregon had a seventh-inning rally against Lindsay Lopez and the Ducks hit three straight singles to bring in their first run.
Arizona State third baseman Bella Loomis stopped the bleeding though with a diving stop to force the first out of the frame. Lopez then settled in and sat down the next two to close out the victory.
Arizona State and Oregon will decide the conference series on Sunday at 12 p.m. local time.