Softball falls to UW in final game of weekend series

ASU finished its Pac-12 weekend series with a run-rule loss

No. 14 ASU came out stale against No. 6 Washington and suffered an 11-1 run-rule loss to finish out the second week of the Pac-12 conference play.

Senior Gabbie Plain returned to the circle for the Huskies and brought problematic pitching for the Sun Devils. She held ASU to only four hits in 17 at-bats.

"There wasn't one part of our game that I thought we did well," coach Trisha Ford said. "When you're playing against (a) Pac-12 (conference team) and you're playing a top-10 program, it's going to get ugly fast, and it got ugly fast."

The first two innings were the roughest for ASU, as the team committed multiple errors and gave up two home runs in the second inning, one of which was a three-run slam by junior Baylee Klingler. After two innings, Washington had six runs off five hits.

Sophomore Lindsay Lopez started in the circle for ASU and struggled against the Washington batters. In 2.1 innings, the sophomore allowed eight runs off seven hits. Her fielders did not give her much support as five of the eight runs she allowed were unearned.

Freshman Allison Royalty filled in for Lopez with one out in the third inning. Royalty's success in the circle was short, as Washington bombed another three-run home run, this time off the bat of graduate student Morganne Flores in the fourth inning. The Huskies had 11 runs off ten hits and were in prime position for the run-rule win.

In the fifth inning, Ford brought in the reserves, putting sophomore Jordyn Vanhook at first, redshirt junior Brittany Holland at second base, freshman Savannah Price at shortstop, sophomore Macy Simmons at catcher and junior Yannira Acuña at left field.

"I think it's big (to have reserves play)," Ford said. "We have a larger roster this year and some of those kids don't get as many opportunities that they would normally. I think they did a really good job of having a plan."

In the bottom of the fifth, Acuña saved the Sun Devils from a shutout with a solo home run deep to center field. It was too little too late, as Plain and the Huskies were able to secure the 11-1 run-rule win.

Despite the loss, the Sun Devils had a successful weekend with their first Pac-12 series win on the season.

"As ugly as that was, we still got a series win," Ford said. "Going into the weekend, that was our goal. (In) the last two games we just didn't execute some things, and when we don't execute things go in that direction quickly. For us, we just have to clean up our miscues." 

ASU will travel to Salt Lake City for a third matchup against BYU on Wednesday, March 31, before facing Utah for the team's third Pac-12 conference weekend matchup.

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