Fresh Faces Set to Make an Impact On This Year's Softball Squad
Feb. 17, 2009
As the Sun Devil softball team continues their defense of the 2008 national title this season, fans are likely to be seeing some new faces. According to head coach Clint Myers, this year’s team “could have at any given time three or four freshmen actually starting, and when you say that about freshmen that gives you a great indication it was a good recruiting class.”
Hillary Bach, a highly recruited pitcher from Holland Hall High School in Tulsa, Oklahoma, will look to share the pitching load with Junior Megan Elliot. Hillary has earned many awards, including a four time all-conference player. When asked what her biggest accomplishment in high school was Bach responded by saying, “The best part of high school was helping start the tradition to where my high school now has a successful softball program.”
Catching Hillary is Nikole Afusia, who is from Midway City, Calif., and attended Ocean View High School. Nicole has been named 1st team all-league catcher 2006-2008 and has been named MVP of the league twice. In her senior season, she hit .505 with 40 RBI’s to lead her team to a CIF Championship. Since coming to ASU, Nicole has already been making a mark and was named the female November Student-Athlete of the Month by the Office of Student-Athlete Development.
A local product who attended Horizon High School, Katelyn Boyd will be looking to fill the gap at shortstop for the Sun Devils. Last year Katelyn was named the player of the year and hit an outstanding .690 with 61 RBI’s, which are both single season Horizon records. However, the stat that means most to Katelyn was her school record setting 12 homeruns. “Coming into Horizon my coach and I were always like, breaking the single season homerun record is going to be your goal,” said Katelyn.
Another highly talented middle infielder is Christina Zambrana, who is a second baseman from Pacifica High School in Garden Grove, Calif. Among her many accomplishments Christina was apart of a CIF Championship team in 2007. In 2006, Christina batted .456 with 21 RBI’s to earn First-Team All-County honors as just a sophomore.
Lexi Anderson, who is from Upland, Calif., and attended Upland High School, is a very skilled infielder. When asked why she chose ASU Lexi responded, “I’ve actually wanted to come to ASU since I was eleven. Just because I’ve always loved Arizona, I grew up in Arizona, I absolutely loved the coaches, and I wanted to be a kinesiology major, which is one of their strong points here.”
Rounding out the infielders is Annie Lockwood, who is a local product from Paradise Valley High School. Annie hit an impressive .627 with 53 RBI’s and a state leading 14 homeruns in her senior season. However, the big hitter commented it was a challenge to get use to the college lifestyle because, “You wake up tired and go to bed even more tired.”
The only outfielder in the freshman class is Talor Haro, a local product and speed demon from Highland High School. Talor has accumulated many individual awards from winning First-Team All-Region to First-Team All-State. Also, she is a very consistent hitter and batted .699 in her junior season and .632 in her senior season.
Finally, the two walk-on players are also both pitchers. Megan Ellsworth, who is from Benson, Ariz., won two state championships with Benson High School, and Jessica Donovan is a graduate of Red Mountain High School in Mesa.
They may be young, but be on the lookout this season to see these players make a huge impact in only one year.