No. 11/13 Softball Hosts Eight Teams, Two Tournaments this Weekend
TEMPE, Ariz. -- College softball's dream locale is back in tournament form as No. 11/13 Sun Devil Softball hosts two invitationals over four days this weekend at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium. Arizona State (6-0) will play six games, including two against top-25 opponents from February 26-March 1.
ASU co-hosts the ASU/GCU Tournament on Friday, Feb. 26 through Sunday, Feb. 28, with participants No. 2 Oklahoma, No. 25 Iowa State, Portland State, and New Mexico. Once that tournament concludes on Sunday morning, ASU continues its hosting duties with the Pac-12 Invitational on Feb. 28-Mar. 1, with guests No. 1 UCLA, No. 8 Oregon, and Utah, receiving votes in the USA Today/NFCA Poll.
The tournaments are closed to fans per Pac-12 Conference guidelines due to the COVID-19 pandemic. All ASU games will be live-streamed for free on the ASU Live Stream.
We play in 24 hours ?? pic.twitter.com/Aaal6Y6yNs
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) February 25, 2021
GIVE 'EM HELL DEVILS
ASU is enjoying the best start to a season since 2017 - back then, the Sun Devils went 8-0 with the help of junior pitcher Breanna Macha. In 2021, ASU boasts six wins to start the season, including two doubleheader wins against Brigham Young and Cal State Fullerton.
The big bat identity ASU is famous for is in full swing - literally. ASU scored 45 runs in six games while allowing their opponents to score a total of 14 runs over the opening weekend. ASU ranks fifth in the Pac-12 in scoring with an average of 7.50 runs per game. Fifth-years Alli Tatnall (.583) and Maddi Hackbarth (.500) rank third and fifth in the Pac-12, respectively, in batting average. The team's .346 average ranks fourth in the conference and lands at No. 20 nationally. ASU's slugging percentage (.667) ranks third in the Pac-12 and 10th in the country. Five Sun Devils landed in the top-20 slugging percentage in the Conference of Champions, including Maddi Hackbarth (1.125), Tatnall (1.083), Makenna Harper (0.909), Jazmine Hill (0.882), and Denae Chatman (0.867).
SUN DEVIL REWIND
Home Run U is looking to make its comeback in 2021 as the Sun Devils rank 10th in the country for home runs per game with an average of two. Five Sun Devils hit multiple home runs two weeks ago, including fifth-years Maddi and Kindra Hackbarth. Junior outfielder Makenna Harper hit home runs in back-to-back games on opening day, while fifth-year Alli Tatnall did what she does best - hit a walkoff in a clutch moment to keep ASU in the win column. Yeah, it was an exciting opening weekend. Oh, and and the cherry on top, senior Denae Chatman went yard twice, including the second grand slam of her collegiate career against CSUF.
If the ASU bats are hot, the circle is on fire. The Sun Devil defense is led by a trio of pitchers who threw 51 strikeouts in 40 innings pitched and gave up only six walks for a team ERA of 2.10. Freshman Allison Royalty earned her crown in her collegiate debut weekend. She pitched 13.2 innings, giving up only one run and two walks while serving 20 strikeouts. Royalty's 0.51 ERA and three wins leads the ASU pitching staff. In game one against CSUF, Royalty put the exclamation point on ASU's 8-0 win, earning her first collegiate shutout. Redshirt fifth-year Cielo Meza notched two wins with 18 strikeouts and six runs in 12.0 innings pitched. Ford challenged sophomore Lindsay Lopez against Utah, putting her in as relief to Meza when the Utes attempted to gain ground offensively. Lopez shut their efforts down and secured the ASU win.
SHOW ME THE FACTS
- The Hackbarth sisters have each homered in back-to-back games. Maddi homered against Seattle and Utah, and Kindra homered in both games of the CSUF doubleheader.
- Junior Makenna Harper started the Sun Devil long ball log with back-to-back homers on opening day against BYU.
- Allison Royalty is the first ASU freshman to pitch a 6+ inning shutout since Breanna Macha in 2015
- Chatman's grand slam was the first for ASU since 2020 when Makenna Harper's on 3/5/2020, and the tenth since 2012.
- Head Coach Trisha Ford reached a career milestone last weekend, earning her 300th career win as a head coach.
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) February 24, 2021