(Photo: Gabrielle Mercer/WCSN)
No. 21 ASU continued a dominant week with a 10-1 mercy-rule victory over Nebraska Saturday night in Tempe.
It was the fifth straight win for the Sun Devils and their third in a row by the mercy rule. ASU has outscored Nebraska 22-2 through the first two games of this series.
Nebraska started off on the right foot, as a solo home run by senior third baseman MJ Knighten put the Cornhuskers in front 1-0. Knighten has batted in both of Nebraska’s runs this series.
The Sun Devils took control of the game in the second inning though, as they put up a crooked number on junior starter Kaylan Jablonski.
After two of the first three Sun Devils reached base, sophomore right fielder Fa Leilua hit a three-run homer to right-centerfield, her second dinger in as many days.
Freshman designated player Randi Farricker followed three batters later with a two-run double to left field, putting ASU up 5-1. The RBI extra-base hit was her second in as many days as well.
ASU sophomore outfielder Skylar McCarty then singled and stole second, and senior shortstop Chelsea Gonzales brought in Farricker and McCarty with an RBI single, extending the ASU lead to 7-1.
Senior catcher Sashel Palacios kept it going for ASU, following Gonzales with an RBI-double, and scoring herself two batters later on a wild pitch.
The Sun Devils scored ten runs total in the inning, and went to the third comfortably ahead 10-1. They got some help from Nebraska though, as they committed three fielding errors and a wild pitch to sustain the ASU slugfest.
Jablonski was pulled after the second inning and gave up 10 runs, only two earned, on seven hits, two walks and a strikeout as her record fell to 1-8 with the loss.
The Sun Devils only had one more batter reach base over the next two innings, but didn’t need the extra offense after a high-scoring second inning and strong pitching.
Freshman starter Giselle Juarez pitched the first three innings and allowed one run on a hit and three walks, while striking out two. Junior Dale Ryndak closed out the game for the second day in a row. She pitched two shutout innings allowing two hits and striking out two.
Juarez was the winning pitcher, improving her record to 3-2 and ERA to 1.31, second best on the team only to fellow freshman Alyssa Loza.
The Sun Devils improved to 18-5 on the season and 12-1 at home with the victory. Nebraska drops to 4-15 overall with the loss.
ASU will look for the series sweep in Sunday’s game at 11 a.m. in Tempe.