Pac-12 Softball: ASU is Back, Arizona Suffers

Kyle Terada-US PRESSWIRE

Arizona State rose to familiar standings at No. 3 in the rankings after sweeping Cal, while Arizona has lost eight of its last nine games and fell off the rankings.

Match-ups last week seemed pretty off. Arizona State swept Cal with a handful of homers, Stanford completely outscored Utah in shortened games and Arizona's losing streak continued. Previously No. 23, the Wildcats were swept by non-ranked Oregon State and fell off of the rankings in this week's USA Today/NFCA Division I Top 25 Poll.

(5) OREGON vs. (15) UCLA: Oregon 9-6, UCLA 7-5, Oregon 7-5

Taking the series against UCLA (32-17, 8-13), Oregon (40-7, 15-3) continued its winning streak, having won every Pac-12 series this season.

In the opening game sophomore Janie Takeda and senior Samantha Pappas finished 3-for-4, with Pappas hitting a two-run single in the first to get Oregon on the board. Freshman catcher Janelle Lindvall (2-for-4, 2 RBI) hit a solo shot in the fourth and the Ducks held an 8-6 lead in the sixth before adding on their final run in the seventh for the win. Freshman Cheridan Hawkins earned a conference-leading sixth save on the season, striking out five and walking one.

UCLA junior Jessica Hall struck out a season-high nine in the Bruins' win, fanning a Duck in each of her first five innings. Hall allowed four runs, eight hits and four walks in 5 2/3 innings. Senior B.B. Bates smashed her 19th homer of the year in the third, followed by freshman Mysha Sataraka and Hall who made it back-to-back, each notching their seventh homer of the year. Oregon's Linvall finished 3-for-4 again with one run, while Kaylan Howard went 3-for-4 with two runs and one RBI.

In the finale, Pappas hit a two-out, three-run homer in the seventh and broke the school record for career RBI with 147. Pappas finished the series .455, 5 H, HR, 6 RBI. Janie Takeda, Pac-12 leader in hits (72), went 3-for-4 with two runs and three RBI in the win. Senior All-American Jessica Moore earned her 21st win, striking out six, walking three and allowing two earned runs on five hits.

Next, Oregon will play non-conference Seattle in a doubleheader on May 1 before hosting Oregon State May 3-5.

UCLA will play three non-conference games between Loyola Marymount and CSU Bakersfield before playing its regular-season finale at Oregon State May 9-11.

(3) ARIZONA STATE vs. (12) CALIFORNIA: Arizona State 10-2 (5), 11-0 (5), 5-3

Arizona State (42-7, 13-5) was back to its winning ways after losing three of its prior six games before its sweep of California (35-12, 9-9). Over the weekend, ASU totaled nine home runs.

Arizona State tallied 10 runs on 11 hits, with six scored in the first inning and a single-game record of six home runs in its 10-2 mercy-rule win. Alix Johnson and Cheyenne Coyle hit back-to-back solo shots to open the game. Sam Parlich followed with ASU's fifth grand slam of the year, Amber Freeman homered in the second, Bethany Kemp hit a two-run home run in the fourth and Coyle knocked her second homer of the game for the five-inning win.

ASU blasted three more homers in game two, with Haley Steele (2-for-3, 2 R, 3 RBI) hitting a three-run long ball in the first. Freeman smacked the second three-run homer and Kemp (2-for-3, 1 R, 3 RBI) followed with a two-run shot.

In the finale, Cal earned its first lead of the series in the top of the second, 2-1, after two solo shots by Breana Kostreba and Vanessa Alvarez. On the mound, ASU's Dallas Escobedo (24-4) struck out 11, walked one and allowed two earned runs on six hits.

Next, Arizona State will play at Arizona May 3-5.

Cal will host Stanford May 3-5.

(17) STANFORD vs. UTAH: Stanford 8-0 (6), 12-0 (5), 9-1 (5)

Stanford (32-16, 9-9) outscored Utah (23-27-1, 6-15) in the series 29-1 and earned its first Pac-12 sweep of the season.

Senior pitcher Teagan Gerhart (18-8) tossed her sixth shutout of the season, striking out two, walking one and allowing just four hits in game one and earning her 15th complete game in the series finale, allowing just two hits and striking out two.

In Stanford's 8-0 six-inning win, the Cardinal outhit the Utes 14-4. Sophomore Hanna Winter went 3-for-5 with one double and four RBI, while freshman Kayla Bonstrom finished 3-for-4 with one RBI.

Freshman thrower Kelsey Stevens (12-7) also notched her sixth shutout of the year in the second win, striking out six and allowing just two hits. Bonstrom (2-for-3, 2 R, 4 RBI) hit a double and a homer, Cassandra Roulund (2-for-3, 2 R, 2 RBI) hit a two-run home run and Winter (2-for-4, 2 R, 3 RBI) smacked a three-run triple.

While the Utes could not score, they did make their conference-leading 39th double play of the season, tied for seventh-most in a single season in NCAA history.

In the finale, Stanford tallied nine runs off of home runs. Jenna Rich led with two hits, including a three-run homer in the opening frame, where Rich upped her career RBI count to 200, just two away from breaking the school record set in 2002. Winter also had two hits and the first home run of her career, a two-run hit to right center. Winter finished the series hitting .583.

Utah's Marissa Mendenhall scored the lone run of the weekend.

Next, Stanford plays at non-conference UC Davis on May 1 before competing at California May 3-5.

Utah will host Washington May 3-5 in its regular-season Pac-12 finale.

OREGON STATE vs. ARIZONA: Oregon State 2-1, 2-1, 2-1

Oregon State (30-17, 7-11) earned its first ever sweep of Arizona (28-22, 5-13) and for the first time since 2005 a series victory over the Wildcats. Arizona has lost eight of its last nine games.

OSU sophomore Ya Garcia grabbed the final out in Arizona's seventh-inning try in game one, scooping up Lauren Young's grounder and throwing to catcher Ally Kutz to end the game and earn the win.

Game two was decided in the seventh as well. The game was tied 1-all with bases loaded for OSU when Dani Gilmore touched home on Lea Cavestany's grounder up the middle. Both teams only managed four hits apiece.

The finale went into extra innings, with Arizona holding a 1-0 lead on Courtney Rodriguez's run before Ashley Sanchez and Elizabeth Santana scored for OSU's third-straight 2-1 win.

Senior pitcher Tina Andreana won game one and three, striking out a total of 10, walking 14 and allowing two earned runs on 12 hits in 15 complete innings.

Next, Oregon State will play non-conference Portland State on April 30 before playing at Oregon May 3-5.

Arizona will host in-state rival Arizona State May 3-5.

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