Pac-12 Softball: No. 2 Arizona State Continues Conference Domination

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona State earned its second Pac-12 series win in as many weeks and Utah gained its first victory in 10 games.

In the second week of Pac-12 competition Arizona State was ranked second in the USA Today/NFCA Division 1 poll for the fourth straight week, behind No. 1 Oklahoma, which received all 31 first-place votes.

(2) ARIZONA STATE vs. (24) OREGON STATE: Arizona State 5-4, 5-1, 11-0 (5)

Arizona State (34-3, 5-1) earned its second Pac-12 series win in as many weeks of competition after taking down Oregon State (23-9, 0-3), which competed in its first conference games this season. Cheyenne Coyle and Mackenzie Popescue came up big in ASU's 5-1 win, with Coyle knocking her second grand-slam of the season, a walk-off, and Popescue throwing three perfect innings before Oregon State put a runner on base in the fourth. With the win, Popescue stood at 15-0, which was ranked 18th nationwide before the start of the series. Oregon State starter Tina Andreana tossed well early on too, allowing a one-hitter until the third when ASU's Alix Johnson hit to left center.

In Arizona State's 11-0 mercy-rule win, the Sun Devils hit five homers, including two by Amber Freeman, who hit a team-best 2-for-3 and had four RBI. Dallas Escobedo earned the win, which put her into fourth all-time at Arizona State with 79 career wins, tying Sun Devil Hall of Famer Erica Beach (1999-2002).

Next, Arizona State is set to play at Stanford on April 6 and 7.

Oregon State is scheduled to play Stanford on April 2 and 3.

(5) California (27-3, 3-0) beat Sacramento State 1-0 in a single-game on March 30 with 25 strikeouts handed out between both pitchers. Cal senior Jolene Henderson threw a complete game, striking out a season-high 15 batters while allowing just two hits. Sacramento State's Caitlin Brooks had 10 strikeouts, two hits and three walks. Victoria Jones scored Cal's single run with a solo homer to left in the top of the fifth.

Next, California will play at Arizona April 2 and 3.

(10) OREGON vs. (17) WASHINGTON: Oregon 12-1, 4-2, Washington 2-1

Oregon (28-5, 5-1) finished the weekend 2-for-3 against Washington (25-10, 3-3) while earning its largest win ever, 12-1, over the Huskies. In the opening game of the series, freshman Janelle Lindvall hit her third straight game-winning RBI of the season with a solo home run, while in the circle senior Jessica Moore became the first Duck pitcher to earn 800 career strikeouts.

Oregon's 4-2 win was the second same-season win over Washington since 2004, with Oregon's Kaylan Howard finishing with three RBIs and Lindvall with one on two hits.

Washington won the final in the series 2-1 on junior Kelli Surguro's sixth-inning RBI single that plated pinch runner Whitney Jones. Pinch runner Marki Creger-Zier tallied Washington's first run in the fourth inning. Oregon junior Kailee Cuico scored the lone run in the second, her team-leading 10th homer of the year.

Next, Oregon will play Utah on April 2 and 3.

Washington is set to face UCLA on April 2 and 3.

(14) STANFORD vs. (15) UCLA: Stanford 5-1, UCLA 8-5 (8), Stanford 2-0

Stanford (24-9, 2-4) played well all over the field in its 5-1 win over UCLA (25-8, 2-4), with senior pitcher Teagan Gerhart striking out five in her ninth complete game of the season, allowing just one run on five hits. UCLA came back winning game two 8-5 in eight innings as Stanford allowed a season-high 14 hits, grabbing just four themselves, and tying its season-high in errors with four. UCLA's Ally Carda and Jessica Hall led with two runs apiece with Carda (16-3) earning the win in the circle, throwing five strikeouts. Gerhart helped Stanford win the final of the series, earning her fourth shutout of the season, allowing five hits and one walk and striking out two.

Next, Stanford will play at Oregon State April 2 and 3.

UCLA will compete against Washington on April 2 and 3.

(19) ARIZONA vs. UTAH: Arizona 6-4, 6-5 (11), Utah 8-4

Arizona's (23-11, 3-3) Hallie Wilson singled in the top of the 11th to propel Arizona to a 6-5 11-inning win over Utah (14-16-1, 1-5). Runners were on first and second when Wilson's hit plated Kelsey Rodriguez. In the circle Estela Pinon threw 165 pitches in the complete game. Through the fourth inning Pinon allowed five runs on five hits but afterwards the starter tossed a two-hit shutout. At the plate, Pinon hit a bases-loaded triple in the fourth, the first of her career.

In Utah's doubling of Arizona in the series finale - Utah's first win in 10 games - freshman pitcher Kayce Nieto allowed just one earned run on four hits.

"Kayce was phenomenal," Utah Head coach Amy Hogue said. "To have the first win in this ballpark come from a freshman with a four-hitter against a team of this caliber was exciting for the program. I can't say enough about her. She walked one and didn't strike out anybody, but she didn't need to. She gave the ball to her defense and got hitters out in a hurry. She didn't waste time and has some really quick innings, which gets your offense back in the dugout and keeps them aggressive."

At-bat, Chalese Fankhauser led Utah with three runs while both Jackie Sweet and Kristen Stewart tallied two. Arizona's Chelsea Goodacre finished 2-for-3, plating three of Arizona's four runs for a team-leading 40 RBI on the season.

Next, Arizona will host California on April 2 and 3.

Utah is set to play at Oregon on April 2 and 3.

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