In front of an excited crowd at Smith Family Stadium, Stanford softball (31-13, 8-7 Pac-12) won its first series against No. 10 Arizona State (32-7, 13-2 Pac-12) since 2009.
On Friday night, the Cardinal ended the Sun Devil’s 20-game win streak, a feat similar to when they snapped UCLA’s 25-game win streak in early April.
Stanford allowed a run to begin the first inning but responded in the second. With the bases loaded, a pair of hits from sophomore outfielder Ellee Eck and junior infielder Sydney Steele enabled sophomore catcher Aly Kaneshiro and freshman infielder Johnna Schroeder to score, giving the team a 2-1 lead.
On the defensive end, the Cardinal were shining as well. Junior infielder Sydnee Huff made a diving catch to close the top of the third inning.
In the bottom half, Huff took first base after getting a hit. Senior utility Emily Young followed up her at-bat with a shot down the third-base line. With two on base and an error by ASU, junior outfielder Kaitlyn Lim’s ground ball brought Huff and Young home for a 4-1 lead, which would be the final score.
Despite the strong outing on Friday, Saturday afternoon was less kind to Stanford, and the team suffered a 3-1 loss.
After starting off with two scoreless innings, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 2-0 lead, courtesy of a two-run home run from Alynah Torres. Arizona State was able to capitalize on five walks and four hit-by-pitches to extend its lead to 3-0. The Cardinal answered back in the fifth inning with a run of their own, but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide.
In the series final on Sunday, Stanford walked away with a 4-2 win. The Sun Devils took an early 2-0 lead with back-to-back home runs by Torres and Yannira Acuña, but in the bottom of the fourth inning a single from Kaneshiro sent Young home to put the Cardinal on the board.
In the bottom of the fifth inning, Stanford came alive. Young singled to right center, enabling senior outfielder Taylor Gindlesperger and Steele to score. Lim followed with a single, which brought Huff home for the third run of the inning to make the score 4-2. In addition to the strong hitting, junior Alana Vawter had four strikeouts to lead the way defensively.
Stanford continues to build momentum — it secured its third conference-series victory of the season.
The series win means that the Cardinal are well-positioned to overtake the University of Washington Huskies (28-11, 9-6 Pac-12), who are ranked third in the Pac-12 standings. The Cardinal will face the Huskies in Seattle in a three-game series starting on Friday, April 29.
Before then, Stanford will continue its clean defense, competitive play and timely offense when it welcomes the University of Pacific (11-31, 1-7 West Coast Conference) to the Farm later this week.
First pitch at Smith Family Stadium is scheduled for Wednesday at 6:00 p.m. PT.