The Arizona State softball team gears up for the Littlewood Classic this weekend.
After proving their No. 4 in the nation ranking was well deserved, the Sun Devils have the perfect record of 7-0, their best start since 2007. They are now ranked No. 3 according to the National Fastpitch Coaches Association (NFCA) poll, all thanks to that prefect start.
The team’s offense has been on fire. As a whole the team has a total of 12 homeruns, 66 hits, 41 runs batted in, and have outscored their opponents 45-2 in the first 7 games of the season. Centerfielder Elizabeth Caporuscio, shortstop Cheyenne Coyle, and catcher Lucy Aubrecht are all batting above .400.
The pitching staff also came out strong. Pitchers Dallas Escobedo (4-0) and Mackenzie Popescue (3-0) combined to give up one earned run over the weekend and are looking for the same performances this upcoming weekend.
Coyle and Escobedo were both awarded the PAC-12 Conference Player and Pitcher of the Week for their stellar play on the field.
The Sun Devils will face 5 teams this weekend, all of which are from the Midwest: Northern Iowa and Michigan State on Friday, Illinois Chicago and Illinois State on Saturday, and Minnesota on Sunday. None of these teams are ranked.
Along with not being ranked, none of the five opponents have won more than two games this season.
On who their biggest competition of the weekend will be, coach Clint Myers said, “We think our biggest competition is always our next game. We play it one inning game at a time. We look at the current game as the objective and that’s what we are focused on.”
Even though the Sun Devils did outstanding last weekend, they have two main things they need to work on.
“On defense we need to handle the ball better,” said Myers.
While the offensive side of the team was blazing hot all weekend, their defense wasn’t up to par. Three infielders combined for seven errors.
Second baseman Sam Parlich had 2, third baseman Haley Steele had 2, and shortstop Cheyenne Coyle had 3. Though the errors didn’t hurt the Devils this weekend, you never know when an opponent could take advantage of an error.
Secondly, the lead-off spot in the batting order is one of the most important spots in the lineup. The current lead-off hitter, Alix Johnson, recorded just three hits in her 23 at-bats during the Kajikawa Classic. She will need to desperately get out of that slump in order for the Sun Devils to contend for a national title.
The first game the Sun Devils will play will be at Farrington Stadium on Friday against Northern Iowa at 3 p.m.