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No. 10/11 Softball Travels for Orange and Blue Tournament

Mar 4, 2021

Game Notes

EL PASO, Texas -- The No. 10/11 Arizona State softball team packs its best season start since 2016 and takes flight for its first road trip of the season at the Orange and Blue Tournament hosted by the University of Texas, El Paso, this Friday and Saturday. 

ASU (11-1) continues its non-conference schedule with four games in two days against Montana (2-8), Incarnate Word (0-4), and UTEP (2-6). The Sun Devils and Montana Grizzlies have met only once in 2016 and ASU played against the UTEP Miners twice in program history. ASU is undefeated against Montana and UTEP and the two games against Incarnate Word are the first in program history. 

The Sun Devils are coming off of a dominant homestand - suffering only one loss at the hands of then-No. 2 Oklahoma. Despite the loss, ASU went toe-to-toe against one of the most well-rounded teams in the country and became the only team to get seven hits on the Sooner pitching staff in 2021. 

Small but mighty, the ASU pitching staff made up of fifth-year Cielo Meza, sophomore Lindsay Lopez, and freshman Allison Royalty all landed in the top-10 for strikeouts thrown in the Pac-12 Conference. Royalty and Meza tied for group leader with 32 each. Lopez had herself a weekend during the ASU Tournament and Pac-12 Invitational, boasting a 0.52 ERA, 18 strikeouts, and only one earned run in 17.1 innings pitched. 

Three tournaments deep and one more on the horizon, ASU is dominating college softball's hitting arena. The team's .373 batting average is second in the conference and ninth in the country, while its 2.33 home runs per game leads the Pac-12. The Sun Devil high-scoring mentality is in full swing as ASU scored an average of eight runs per game to rank third in the Pac-12 and No. 12 in the NCAA. 

Hitting partners, fifth-year Maddi Hackbarth and sophomore Alynah Torres had monster weekends in the box. Hackbarth hit four home runs, and Torres notched five of her own. The pair each hit two home runs in a single game over the weekend. Hackbarth earned 12 RBI in the six games to take the title of Pac-12 RBI leader with 20 on the season. 

The Hackbarth sisters, Bella Loomis, and Makenna Harper, all batted over .400 this past weekend for a combined 32 hits and 22 runs. Kindra (.476) and Maddi (.471) are second and third, respectively, in the Pac-12 in batting average. 

ASU scored 51 runs in the last six games compared to its opponents 14. The Sun Devils' emphasis on baserunning in practice has paid off through preseason thus far. The team is 15-for-17 on stolen bases, and leadoff batter Kindra Hackbarth is third in the Pac-12 with six in 2021. Through 12 games, ASU has totaled 227 bases compared to its opponents 97. 


  • In the top-25 showdown between then-No. 11/13 ASU and then-No. 25 Iowa State, the Sun Devils recorded 16 hits, the most since the team hit 16 against Princeton on March 1, 2019. 
  • Monday's matchup against Utah saw ASU score six runs in one inning. The last time ASU brought that sort of bat power was on February 7, 2020, in two games against Kansas and Portland State.
  • Lindsay Lopez tossed a one-hitter against New Mexico on February 26. The last Sun Devil to do so was senior Madison Preston on March 8, 2020, against Ohio State

ASU put on a clinic in high-scoring offense while hosting the ASU/GCU Tournament and Pac-12 Invitational last weekend. Most notably, the team battled with then-No. 2 Oklahoma (who has now been bumped to the top-ranked spot in the country), losing by only two runs in ASU's only loss of the season. 

The Sun Devils faced New Mexico twice, outsourcing the Lobos 24-4 through 11 innings. Lindsay Lopez recorded a shutout against Portland State, finishing the game with five strikeouts and zero walks as ASU's hot bats went to work to secure an 8-0 run-rule. ASU dueled in another top-25 showdown last weekend against No. 25 Iowa State. The Sun Devils won 8-3 with the help of back-to-back homers by Maddi Hackbarth and Alli Tatnall. ASU closed out the weekend with a Monday night matchup versus Utah - the second non-conference meeting the duo has played this year. Maddi Hackbarth hit two dingers, and Meza and Lopez served the one-two punch from the circle to hand ASU its 11th win of the season and eighth-straight win against the Utes dating back to 2018. 

Only one game ASU game against UTEP is set to be live-streamed at the Orange and Blue Tournament this weekend. Fans can follow along and receive in-game updates by following Sun Devil Softball on all social media platforms.