(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
For the Arizona State seniors it’s their final chance to shine in Tempe. Stanford is coming to town for the Sun Devils’ last home series of the season this weekend.
The struggles have been obvious for ASU and the team has dropped its last 12 games. However in the past four series the Sun Devils have faced the four best teams in the Pac-12 record-wise. This weekend they get a break from that and play the Stanford Cardinal. Stanford is winless in conference play.
Last weekend ASU had all the opportunities to put an end to its losing streak but some late inning struggles only extended the skid. Pitching had troubles as the staff allowed 23 total runs combined on the weekend.
Stanford enters the series with an overall 13-29 record, with the real issues coming in Pac-12 play. On Friday one streak is bound to end as both teams enter the series losers of their last 12 games.
The Cardinal are led offensively by Kylie Sorenson who is batting .339 this season with eight long balls and 25 RBI.
In the circle is where Stanford has faltered the most this season. The Cardinal send a duo of Haley Snyder and Carolyn Lee for the majority of the innings. Both pitchers have over a 5.00 ERA. Though they have given up a lot of runs both pitchers do a great job of limiting the home run count. Snyder and Lee have only given up eight and 12 home runs respectively, which is good for top ten in the Pac-12.
This weekend is a time for ASU’s offense to lead the way. Hitting has improved as the Pac-12 season has gone on. In the Sun Devils’ past two series they haven’t scored any less then four runs in a game.
It’s the final home stand for seniors Jennifer Soria and Nikki Girard at Farrington Stadium, which is a perfect opportunity for the two dangerous hitters to take control. Soria leads the team in home runs with 13 and Girard has been stellar this season with runners in scoring position batting .473. All this is a recipe for success against an average pitching staff.
Sophomore pitcher Dale Ryndak could play a big factor the Devils on the rubber this weekend. The number three pitcher has been solid in the circle lately and has received some more playing time. Against a team like Stanford, Ryndak could see a lot of innings to give Kelsey Kessler some rest.
Historically ASU has dominated the matchup between the two squads and are winners of ten out of the last 12 meetings.
With a series sweep against Stanford the Sun Devils could potentially move up to seventh place in the Pac-12 standings.
The series opener is Friday at Farrington Stadium in Tempe. First pitch is at 7 p.m. and you can watch it at Pac-12.com/Live.