TEMPE – Spring is in full swing and so is the No. 10 Arizona State softball team, which holds the longest active win streak in college softball.
After No. 18 Texas’ 4-2 win over undefeated No. 1 Oklahoma Saturday, the Sun Devils secured the top spot of longest win streak in the country on the same day with their 8-7 victory over Utah. The victory improved their streak to 20 and put their undefeated start in Pac-12 play at 12-0.
Tonight they start a three-game series at Stanford, a team that ranks 10th nationally in ERA (1.82). Sunday’s finale is already sold out.
With all eyes on the team from Tempe, the pressure is now on ASU to continue one of the best starts in the program’s history.
“We don’t really talk about it. … For us, it’s just, you know, continuing our approach and keep our nose down,” coach Trisha Ford said after the Sun Devils’ April 15 win over Utah.
Focusing on their game instead of the noise surrounding other teams, the Sun Devils’ streak is closing the gap on their previous streak in 2008 of 28 straight wins, thanks to a high-powered offense.
Ford credited assistant coach Jeff Harger for the team’s offensive dominance.
“He just does a tremendous job each and every year of connecting with his players and getting buy-in, and it’s really the next man standing,” Ford said.
The Sun Devils have made a name for themselves on the offensive side of the field this season, ranking second in the NCAA in slugging percentage (.633) and fourth in home runs per game (2.03).
This success has come thanks to depth in the ASU dugout. Cydney Sanders (.442) is one of six starters batting over .350 and has proven to be a big spark, leading the team with 14 home runs.
“Hitting is contagious around here,” Sanders said.
In only her freshman year at ASU, Sanders has made strides in the collegiate softball world, and was nominated, alongside teammate Yannira Acuna, by USA Softball as a Top 25 Collegiate Player of the Year finalist. Sanders’ performance against Utah also earned her a second National Freshman of the Week title from D1 Softball.
Although momentum has grown from the start of the season for players and coaches, Ford has maintained a cool head going into the Sun Devils’ series at Stanford.
“I just think we have a good rhythm on the field, and when you have a good rhythm, you tend to make great plays.”