The No. 6-ranked Arizona State softball team returns to Farrington Stadium this weekend following a three-game sweep at California (20-14, 3-4 Pacific-12) that led to Dallas Escobedo being named Pac-12 Pitcher of the Week for the third time this season.
The Sun Devils (35-6, 9-3) open with Utah at 7 p.m. Thursday, with two more games at 5 p.m. Friday and noon Saturday.
Senior pitcher Escobedo threw 23 strikeouts in 12 innings and posted a 1.17 ERA in the wins over California, and for the season, she is 16-5 with a 1.68 ERA.
Junior catcher Amber Freeman went 6-for-10 in the Cal series, while smacking two home runs in the 10-0 finale and is hitting a team-high .451 on the year, with nine home runs and 35 RBI.
“We just have to win on the road now, so we don’t have to win on the road later,” Freeman had said after the most recent home game with Arizona.
Junior third baseman Haley Steele also leads the Sun Devils with 38 RBIs, junior first baseman Bethany Kemp has 11 home runs, while Elizabeth Caporuscio and Bailey Wigness are each hitting .364 and .359.
Utah (14-16, 3-7) just won two of three in its latest series versus Oregon State, and following junior leftfielder Kate Dickman (.419 BA, 20 RBI), its second, third and fourth-best hitters are freshmen: second baseman Hannah Flippen (.404, 16 RBI), shortstop Anissa Urtez (.358, 25 RBI) and first baseman Bridget Castro (.333, 23 RBI).
Oregon (34-5, 8-1) overtook UCLA (34-4, 9-3) for the top national ranking this week after grabbing two of three over the Bruins in Eugene over the weekend. It is the first time the Ducks have held the top ranking.