Softball Splits Opening Day of ASU Tournament
TEMPE, Ariz -- The No. 11/13 Sun Devil Softball's big bats and five home runs falls short and splits day one of the ASU/GCU Tournament at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium on Friday night. Arizona State (7-1) run-ruled New Mexico, 13-1, to open the day and despite a late offensive push, fell to No. 2 Oklahoma, 5-3.
On day one of the GCU/ASU Tournament, ASU opened with a dominate win by run-ruling the University of New Mexico Lobos, 13-1. The Sun Devils unleashed a hitting spree as ASU collected nine hits and held their opponent to only one hit in the dominant victory.
The Sun Devils jumped on the Lobos early as senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth and sophomore shortstop Alynah Torres hit back-to-back home runs in the first to open up the scoring. The pair of dingers in the first inning were Hackbarth's third and Torres' first of the season.
In game two on the day, the Sun Devils battled in a top-15 showdown against No. 2 the University of Oklahoma Sooners - the first ranked team ASU has faced all year. Trailing 5-1 in the bottom of the seventh, the Sun Devils scored two runs, but it wasn't enough as they fell to the Sooners 5-3.
Through three innings it was a pitchers duel between freshman Allison Royalty and Oklahoma's Giselle Juarez as they didn't allow a hit, until ASU opened the scoring with a home run in the bottom of the third by Makenna Harper - her third of the year.
"It felt great, it was a big confidence booster I think for the whole team it was good to put the first one on the board and honestly Allison Royalty threw a great game and so it was just good to put a run behind her," Harper said.
UP NEXT: The the Sun Devils will start the second day of the tournament against Portland State at 2PM MST then face Iowa State at 5PM MST
Game 1: ASU 13, NEW MEXICO 1
HOW IT HAPPENED :
- The Sun Devils exploded offensively to start the game against UNM. Maddi Hackbarth and Alynah Torres homered in back-to-back at-bats in the first inning.
- Denae Chatman put the exclamation point on the first inning, hitting an RBI single that brought home sophomore Jazmine Hill to put the Sun Devils up 5-1
- The homer onslaught continued into the second inning as Kindra Hackbarth hit her third dinger of the season - a solo shot to centerfield
- Today's game was the first in 2021 that the Hackbarth sisters both hit a home run in the same game - the last time it happened was Feb. 29, 2020 against Southern Utah.
- Pitcher Lindsay Lopez controlled the game from the mound, she only gave up one run in the first and one hit in all five innings
- Hill added to the home run count as she blasted her third of the season in the third inning.
- As a team, the Sun Devils hit four home runs and are now 5-0 when they hit two or more home runs in a single game.
Game Two, ASU 3, OU 5
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Freshman Allison Royalty started the Sun Devils hot at the top of the first inning with no runs and no hits. At the top of the second inning Royalty had three swinging strikeouts to keep the score 0-0
- At the top of the third, Oklahoma had bases loaded but the Sun Devil defense held the Sooners to scoreless. Royalty found her way out of the jam by having the Oklahoma batter fly out to junior left fielder Makenna Harper
- Junior Makenna Harper hit a bomb over the right field fence to bring in the first run and hit of the game giving the Sun Devils a 1-0 lead in the middle of the third
- Royalty gave it her all and finished the night with seven strikeouts before she stepped off the mound at the top of the seventh. Cielo Meza stepped in and kept the Sooners cold for the remaining two outs of the inning
- Denae Chatman hit the ball center field, back fence to bring home Hill and put the Sun Devils 2-5 in the bottom of the 7th
- Harper went three-for-three on the night with a ball to right field and brought home Chatman.
QUOTES FROM COACH:
On Allison Royalty's performance:
"I gave her the ball today and that meant a lot and I wanted to see what she had.That [Oklahoma] was one of the top offenses in the country and she's going to face that with several teams in the Pac-12. I thought there were a lot of good things, she was really hard on herself. She has complete accountability and as a pitcher you don't see that as much. She did a lot of good things, we'll clean some things up. When she came out in the seventh and we started to hit she came down by me and I told her listen, 'Allison in February and Allison in May is going to be very different,' and she said absolutely and I said exactly, relax. You're going to get better and you're going to get better in three months and you're going to get better year after year."
On Makenna Harper's performance:
"Harper's biggest strength is her competitiveness and I think she gets in the box and figures out a way to get on. She had a big game and did a great job of getting good pitches and putting a good swing on a good pitch. I love seeing that fire in her and that's what makes her great.
On the small comeback in the 7th inning:
"I told the team at the end of the game that that's who we are. We are going to fight and not make people feel comfortable. There's lot of people around here that know that we don't care how much we're done, what inning it is, we have a shot."