SB: Top ten territorial showdown - Tucson News Now

SB: Top ten territorial showdown

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Tucson, AZ -

Eighth-ranked Arizona (28-6, 3-3 Pac-12) heads to Tempe to take on 11th-ranked Arizona State in a series televised by the Pac-12 Network. Both teams look to keep their momentum going after Week 7 Pac-12 sweeps.

The Cats' three-game sweep of Oregon State featured three mercy victories in which UA outscored the Beavers 36-2. Meanwhile, Arizona State used a run-rule win sandwiched between two bottom of the seventh comebacks to sweep Stanford.

Arizona will be the first top-10 team that ASU has faced all season. Arizona and Arizona State meet Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 5:00 p.m., 7:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. PDT, respectively.

ARIZONA STATE SERIES: The Wildcats own an 88-46-1 record all-time against Arizona State. Arizona's 135 meetings with ASU are the most with any opponent. The Cats erased a six-game losing streak in the series when they took two of three from the Sun Devils last season in Tucson. 

LEADING OFF

- Arizona is at or near the top of nearly every offensive ranking in the NCAA. Arizona leads the nation in batting average (.361), home runs (54) and slugging percentage (.638). The Cats are third in scoring, averaging 7.94 runs per game.

- UA is getting done on the other side of the ball as well. Arizona's 1.47 ERA ranks 10th nationally while its .980 fielding percentage is tied for second in the country.

- Catcher Chelsea Goodacre is tied for NCAA lead with 13 home runs. Shortstop Kellie Fox is not far behind with 12 homers, which is tied for fifth nationally. Goodacre has 48 RBI, fourth in the country, while Fox's 45 RBI rank fifth.

- Arizona is 19-0 at home, including 16 run-rule victories. Arizona is outscoring opponents by an average of 9.95-0.74 at home. On the road (neutral plus away games), Arizona in 9-6 with just three mercy wins. On the road, Arizona's average margin of victory is just 2.8 runs, compared to the 9.21 run average margin of victory at home. Arizona is hitting .442 at home while batting just .268 on the road.  

- Arizona hit three grand slams last week in five games: Katiyana Mauga vs. UNLV (game 2), Hallie Wilson vs. Oregon State (game 1) and Chelsea Goodacre vs. Oregon State (game 3). The three grand slams in six days betters Arizona's entire 59-game total from 2013, when UA hit two grand slams. On the season, Arizona has hit seven grand slams. Mauga has hit three grand slams this season.

- From Feb. 22 to March 4, Arizona run-ruled eight consecutive opponents, setting a school record. The previous record was six straight mercy wins, accomplished thrice (2003, 2001 and 1994). The Cats have run-ruled 19 opponents on the season in just 34 chances after run-ruling eight opponents in 59 games in 2013.

- Arizona heads back on the road after a brief three-game stint in Tucson last weekend. At the conclusion of the ASU series, Arizona will have played 13 of its last 16 games away from Hillenbrand Stadium. The recently-completed 10-game road swing was its longest regular-season road swing since an 11-gamer in 2010.

- Arizona is the only team in the country that ranks in the top 10 in the country in batting average (1st - .361), ERA (10th - 1.47) and fielding percentage (t2nd - .980).

- Arizona's pitching staff has allowed just 42 earned runs this season in 34 games and has a 1.47 ERA. In 34 games this year, Arizona has tossed 12 shutouts. In 59 games in 2013, UA threw just three shutouts. UA pitchers have thrown five one-hitters this season and one no-hitter (Estela Piñon and Kenzie Fowler, Feb. 9 vs. Southern Miss).

- Arizona leads the conference in batting average (.361), slugging percentage (.638), on-base percentage (.461), runs scored (270), RBI (254), home runs (54), total bases (521) and fielding percentage (.980).

- With Pac-12 play just beginning, it will be difficult to keep these figures up, but as of right now, Arizona's .361 average would be the best since 1998 (.385) while its 1.47 ERA would be the best since the 2006 team's 1.10 ERA. Also, the Wildcats' .980 fielding percentage would be second best in school history.

- On the season, Arizona has 111 extra-base hits. Its opponents have 132 total hits.

- Opponents are just 2-for-22 (.091) batting with the bases loaded. Meanwhile, Arizona is 21-for-60 (.350) with the bases loaded, including the aforementioned seven grand slams.

OPPONENT

Arizona State: The Sun Devils (30-5) enter the weekend coming off of a series sweep at home against No. 24 Stanford. The series opener was a dramatic 16-15 extra inning shootout victory for ASU before shutting down the Cardinal in game two. The series finale was another dramatic win as the Sun Devils got a walk-off homer from Cheyenne Coyle to complete a come from behind victory. Amber Freeman leads ASU at the plate with a .447 average to go with five homers and 29 RBI. The duo of Mackenzie Popescue and Dallas Escobedo lead the Sun Devils in the circle with a combined 28-5 record.

PLAYER NOTES

Hallie Wilson: Wilson is the table setter for the Arizona offense as she leads the Pac-12 in runs scored (42), while ranking second in walks (29) and triples (3) and she finds herself third in the league in RBI (35) and total bases (70). She currently ranks fourth on the squad with a .404 batting average. Wilson hit .556 with a team-best three homers and 11 RBI in the series sweep of Oregon State this past weekend.

Estela Piñon: The senior leads the team and is third in the Pac-12 with a 1.09 ERA this season, having allowed just 10 earned runs in 64.0 innings pitched. In her last 86.1 innings pitched, dating back to last season, Piñon has allowed a total of 12 earned runs (0.97 ERA), with 84 strikeouts.

Kellie Fox: The junior leads the Pac-12 in three different offensive categories and is second in three more. She leads the conference in slugging percentage (.944), on-base percentage (.573) and total bases (85). She is second to teammate Chelsea Goodacre in RBI (45) and home runs (12), and second to teammate Hallie Wilson in runs scored (38).

Date                                         Time (PDT)      Opponent           Location

Friday, March 28                      5:00 p.m.         Arizona State     Farrington Stadium    

Saturday, March 29                  7:00 p.m.         Arizona State     Farrington Stadium    

Sunday, March 30                    7:00 p.m.         Arizona State     Farrington Stadium    

Copyright 2014 Arizona Athletics. All rights reserved.

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