ASU softball dominates Stanford to clinch series

The Sun Devils took the three-game set with just their second road win of the season

After struggling away from home for most of the season, No. 23 ASU softball earned its second road win in as many days in Palo Alto, California on Friday.

The Sun Devils (25-12, 4-7 Pac-12) jumped on Stanford early and never looked back, earning a 9-1 win to to clinch the three-game set with the Cardinal. ASU came into the series winless on the road this season but has changed the narrative with back-to-back, run-rule victories.

ASU wasted no time in the first inning as sophomore outfielder Skylar McCarty walked and eventually came around to score on an RBI single by redshirt junior Marisa Stankiewicz.

The Sun Devils would continue to pile on the runs, scoring in each of the next three innings to give ASU a comfortable lead. 

But it was a grand-slam home run off the bat of sophomore outfielder Ulufa Leilua in the fourth inning that blew the game open for the Sun Devils. ASU took an 8-1 lead with the blast, more than enough for the Sun Devil pitchers to hold down the fort. 

Senior catcher Sashel Palacios added to the lead with her second RBI of the game — a double to center field to bring home McCarty, bringing the game to its final margin of eight runs. 

On the mound, freshman left-hander Giselle Juarez (5-4) got the start for the Sun Devils, and sent the first six batters she saw back to the dugout. Stanford senior infielder Lauren Bertoy broke through in the third inning with a single off the foot of Juarez. The single sparked a bases loaded, no outs jam. 

Juarez allowed one run to cross the plate but escaped the frame thanks to some flashy defense behind her. Sophomore infielder Taylor Becerra made a tremendous backhand catch and dove back to third base to complete the double play to end the inning. 

Freshman pitcher Alyssa Loza came in to relieve Juarez in the fourth inning and continued the domination in the circle. She struck out three and allowed no hits through her two innings pitched to close out the victory. 

ASU now looks to earn the sweep in the series finale with Stanford on Saturday at noon MST. 

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