The Arizona State Sun Devils (14-5) have been on a streak of success this season, which continued in their Thursday night matchup against the BYU cougars (13-5) for the start of the Sun Devil Classic.
Both sides of the Sun Devil unit contributed the 8-0 victory after only five innings of play. Freshman Mac Morgan earned her 8th win of the season. Morgan started off strong in the first inning with three strikeouts on the first four batters faced.
The Arizona State offense came out swinging in the bottom of the first as Yannira Acuña hit her eighth home run of the season to get the scoring started. Cydney Sanders and Jazmine Hill followed Acuña with back-to-back singles. Emily Cazares had an opportunity to take advantage as she stepped into the box, and slapped her second double of the season to score Sanders and advance Hill to third.
The spark from the Sun Devils bats caused a Cougar’s pitching change with only one out in the bottom of the first. Marissa Schuld didn’t allow the new pitcher to keep her from advancing the score as she ripped a line drive down the right-field line to bring the team’s lead to 4-0.
A scoring drought then took over as both teams struggled to score a run in the next three innings causing a small pitcher's duel in the circle.
Morgan stayed locked in, allowing only one other hit in the top of the fourth.
BYU’s defense was able to tighten up until the bottom of the fifth as the Sun Devils' offensive power took over once more to end the game.
Acuna started off the bottom of the fifth with her second home run of the night, as she led the way for her team to get a rally started. Jazmyn Rollin then found herself in a situation to win the game, after Hill tripled and Cazares was able to draw a walk. Arizona State needed three runs to earn a mercy-rule victory over BYU in five innings.
Rollin stepped up to the plate with one out and was able to accomplish what the Sun Devils offense is famous for: the battle at the plate until they are given a pitch they like. She worked to a 2-2 count allowing herself to be patient and wait for the ball she knew she could drive.
As fans cheered under the lights of Farrington Stadium, Rollin connected with the fifth pitch of her at-bat and drove the walk-off home run ball over right-center field straight into the sand of the beach volleyball courts.
Arizona State moves to 14-5 with their seventh mercy rule win of the season. The Sun Devil classic will continue as Arizona State takes on New Mexico State (4-11) Friday, March 11, at 2:30 pm MST, at Farrington Stadium.