After their historic run of winning 20 games in a row came to an end last week, a reset was in order for Arizona State (33-7, 14-2 Pac-12) coming home to Tempe.
The No. 9 Sun Devils turned the page on the Stanford series expeditiously, taking game one against Cal (26-21-1, 6-10) 10-3, with the help of an explosive second inning.
With Lindsay Lopez (8-2) starting in the circle, ASU went down 1-0 in the first on a double and single by Tatum Anzaldo and Acacia Anders, respectively. The Sun Devils would be turned away in the bottom half, after Cydney Sanders was thrown out trying to steal third with two on and two outs.
Then, after a shutdown inning from Lopez (who’s pitching to a 1.58 ERA this year), the offense applied the pressure to Cal’s pitching staff. ASU accumulated seven runs in the second inning in, to say the least, an unusual yet effective fashion.
The bases were loaded with no outs after two walks and a double by the middle of the order. With Rollin, Harper and Harger occupying the base paths, Jessica Puk got the run party started by reaching on a fielder’s choice to shortstop that kept the bases juiced.
Bella Loomis walked to bring in another, Torres grounded out afterwards with the third run coming home. Acuña continued her solid campaign with a single to drive in the fourth run.
Sanders immediately walked on four pitches, and Cal swapped out Sona Halajian for Annabel Teperson. It would get worse for the Golden Bears.
With the bases still full, a walk to Jazmine Hill followed by a hit-by-pitch to Jazmyn Rollin brought two more runs in without the ball hitting the bat. The inning would end with the seventh run coming home on an unassisted groundout to the first baseman off the bat of Makenna Harper.
After all of that, Lopez went back out to the mound and turned Cal away for the next couple of innings. It wasn’t until the fifth that the Golden Bears would sniff home plate again, when Marissa Schuld came in to try and turn Cal away once again. Schuld failed to put the inning to bed before the Bears scored twice on a single and fielder’s choice, but it was too late for the visitors.
In the bottom of the fourth, ASU added to their lead by scoring on a passed ball and a RBI single by Makenna Harper. The Sun Devils had eight hits to go along with their ten runs, capped off by a pinch-hit home run by Mailey McLemore in the fifth.
But, they definitely got some help by the pitching and defense of the Golden Bears in key situations. Six walks and a HBP were really what took the game away from Cal into the hands of Arizona State.
Schuld would proceed to lock it down in the final two frames for ASU, and Lindsay Lopez walked out of Farrington with a win. With just eight games remaining in the 2022 regular season, Arizona State will look to start a new streak going into the Pac-12 Tournament.
Tonight’s game against Cal will be at 6:00 MST on the Pac-12 Network.