ASU softball looks to fix road struggles at Stanford

The Sun Devils head to Palo Alto this weekend looking for their first true road win

It's no secret that ASU softball has struggled on the road this season.

Competing in one of the best conferences in the country makes for a difficult schedule, especially away from home. The Sun Devils have learned that lesson the hard way, incurring an 0-6 road record against the likes of top-10 teams Washington and then-undefeated Oregon.

A 17-2 record at home certainly helps make up for those road woes, but head coach Trisha Ford knows that the difference between a good team and a great team is being able to handle adversity and pick up key road wins in conference play.

This coming weekend, ASU (23-12, 2-7 Pac-12) may have the perfect opportunity to fix its problems away from home as it heads to Palo Alto, California for a conference showdown with Stanford.

"Any time that you get on the road, it's tougher," Ford said. "It's a big series for us, every series, especially in our conference this year, is big. It's going to be important for us to come out and take three games."

The Sun Devils have a three-game set upcoming against Stanford, which currently sits at 16-19 overall and 0-9 in the Pac-12.

Given ASU's recent dominance over the Cardinal – 13 of the last 15 meetings since 2012 have gone the way of the Sun Devils – there's reason to believe the winless road record may soon be erased.

"The biggest thing is us controlling and staying in our bubble and not worrying about who we're playing on the other side," Ford said. "When you look at the Oregon series, we got better each game, and for us to continue that growth and get better each game that we come out and play."

The schedule also happens to work in ASU's favor going into its upcoming weekend series. Having had a full 10 days off since being swept by Oregon, the Sun Devils will head to Palo Alto fully rested as they search for their first road victory. 

"It just kind of gives us time to work on the little things," sophomore third baseman Taylor Becerra said. "When we have series after series after series we kind of have, like, two or three days a week to practice, but this past week we had so much time to go over all the little things, the little details that we were missing."

A week without games certainly helps for practice purposes, but the Sun Devils are itching to get back out on the field and right their road struggles against Stanford.

"They're a good team who can come out any day and beat whoever's on the other side," senior catcher Sashel Palacios said. "So I think it was good for us to get rest but I think it's like we're craving to play again, it's been the longest week, like 'can we play again?'"

The first pitch of the series is set for Thursday at 4 p.m. at Boyd and Jill Smith Family Stadium in Palo Alto. 

"This time of year is where you've got to start climbing in a positive way," Ford said. "So that's what we're looking for is for us to come out this weekend and really start making some adjustments."


Reach the reporter at jeff.griffith21@asu.edu or follow @Jeff_Griffith21 on Twitter.

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