After losing two of three to the Utah Utes last weekend, ASU Softball entered their series against California in desperate need of quality wins. Well, mission accomplished as the Sun Devils swept the No. 10 Golden Bears.
The Sun Devils top half of their lineup is among the nation’s best, which features Alix Johnson, Cheyenne Coyle, Amber Freeman, and Haley Steele. These four hitters had a great weekend against Cal as they scored 16 of the 26 runs. They also combined for six home runs on the weekend.
All four of these ladies also get on base consistently with Johnson having the lowest batting average of the four at .323. If the Sun Devils want to win a national championship, Johnson and company will have to keep having quality at-bats and keep the power going.
Entering the weekend, the Sun Devils ranked fourth in fielding percentage in the conference and infielders Sam Parlich and Coyle had 22 of the team’s 33 errors. Both Parlich and Coyle played fantastic defense this weekend and had no errors. Not only did Parlich and Coyle combine for no errors, but also the entire team did not commit an error all weekend.
The Cal Softball team was not at full strength this weekend as their ace did not get to pitch in any of the three games. Pitcher Jolene Henderson injured her left leg last Sunday against Oregon State and although she played in all three games against the Sun Devils, she never stepped foot in the circle.
Henderson is a workhorse for the Lady Bears, starting 33 of the team’s 44 games entering the weekend and leads the Pac-12 with a 1.18 ERA and 249.2 innings pitched. Without Henderson, the Lady Bears had to pitch Nisa Ontiveros and Nikki Owens. Both pitchers struggled on the weekend considering ASU knocked in 26 runs on the weekend.
ASU will travel to Tucson to face Arizona in a three-game series this weekend.