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Home Run U Pops Off in Softball's 31-Run Sweep on Friday

Mar 5, 2021

EL PASO, Texas -- All gas, no breaks as the No. 10/11 Sun Devil Softball team left a lasting impression on its opponents with 31 runs and nine dingers in two run-rule victories on Friday at the Orange and Blue Tournament. The squad left the best for last and scored big in the final inning of both games with 17 runs combined. 

Arizona State (13-1) opened the tournament with a 17-5 win over Montana (2-9) and secured the doubleheader sweep with a 14-0 shutout dub over Incarnate Word (0-5). 

Over the last ten years, ASU has hit nine home runs in a day only twice. First on Feb. 27, 2016, and today against UM and UIW. Seven different student-athletes participated in the home run frenzy, including fifth years Allison (Alli) Tatnall and Maddi Hackbarth, who went yard in each game. 

The Sun Devils hit four consecutive home runs in the sixth inning against Montana as Jazmine Hill, Maddi Hackbarth, Alynah Torres, and Mailey McLemore all went yard in back-to-back-to-back-to-back at-bats to put the exclamation point on ASU's sixth mercy-rule win. 
 

Adding to her Pac-12 RBI leader status, Maddi Hackbarth now leads the 'Conference of Champions' in home runs with eight on the season. Her 44 career home runs ties Chelsea Gonzales (2014-17) at No. 6 in program history. 

The Sun Devil lineup further extended their Home Run U title, hitting a conference-leading 38 dingers through 14 games. 

The master and apprentice went to work in the circle as fifth year Cielo Meza, and freshman Allison Royalty ruled the Sun Devils circle. Royalty pitched nine innings with 13 strikeouts. She threw a career-high 11 strikeouts against UIW and notched the second shutout of her rookie campaign. 

Several Sun Devils celebrated career or season firsts in Friday's doubleheader. Freshman Savannah Price collected her first career RBIs in her first career at-bat against UIW. Rookie Harleigh Braswell earned her first at-bat while sophomore Jordyn VanHook hit her first home run of the year. 

Fourteen games into the schedule, ASU has outscored its opponents 127-33 and served 111 strikeouts to opposing staffs' 51. 

UP NEXT: ASU faces UIW again tomorrow, Saturday, March 6, at 12:30 p.m. MST before concluding its tournament schedule against UTEP at 5:30 p.m. MST. 

GAME 1: ASU 17, MONTANA 5
HOW IT HAPPENED

  • ASU batted .500, walked ten times, and put the exclamation point on the run-rule win with five home runs, including FOUR back-to-back-to-back-to-back dingers in the sixth inning.  
  • ASU opened the game with one run in the first inning off an RBI single from Torres that brought home Kindra Hackbarth. Cielo Meza went to work in the circle and notched two swinging strikeouts and a lineout to center field to get the Sun Devils back to the box. 
  • Montana walked three straight Sun Devils to load the bases. Two outs later, the Grizzlies walked a fourth Sun Devil in Jazmine Hill, who collected the RBI from Makenna Harper's home plate touch. 
  • ASU scored three runs in the third after a kick start from an Alli Tatnall solo home run. Two consecutive doubles from Harper and Denae Chatman put ASU in prime scoring position on second and third base. Brittany Holland singled to deep right field for two RBIs to end the inning. 
  • Montana scored in the bottom of the second and again in the third to bring the score to 3-1
  • The Sun Devils continued to connect on doubles into the fourth with another consecutive set from Jazmine Hill and Maddi Hackbarth. Hackbarth's double brought home Hill to extend the lead, 4-1. A single from Torres put her and Hackbarth on the corners with Tatnall at-bat. The fifth year grounded out to first but collected the RBI to push the score to 7-2
  • Freshman Allison Royalty entered the game as relief for Meza in the bottom of the fourth.
  • Pinch hitter Jordyn VanHook entered for Loomis and was walked. Loomis immediately re-entered and stole second. In the next at-bat, Kindra Hackbarth hit an RBI single to bring Loomis home. Two flyouts from M. Hackbarth and Torres left Kindra and Hill stranded on base to complete the fifth. 
  • Montana saw its most offensive inning in the fifth, hitting back-to-back singles and a three-run dinger in the first three at-bats. Royalty shut it down and secured three-straight outs to hold the lead, 8-5. 
  • ASU responded to Montana's offensive attempt with a whole new level of ferocity. The Sun Devils scored nine runs in the sixth inning, punctuated by four consecutive home runs from Hill, M. Hackbarth, Torres, and Mailey McLemore. 

GAME 2: ASU 14, Incarnate Word 0
HOW IT HAPPENED

  • The first two innings passed action-less for both dugouts. ASU landed on the board first with one run in the third scored by Bella Loomis. 
  • The top of the fourth saw three more runs scored by the Sun Devils, including a two-run home run by Jordyn VanHook - her first of the season.
  • Tatnall and M. Hackbarth went yard back-to-back in the fourth to put ASU up 6-0 
  • Chatman hit a leadoff homer to start the sixth inning, followed by an onslaught of ASU scoring.
  • VanHook stole home, and Olivia Miller scored from a single by Jazmine Hill. In the next at-bats, Hill stole second, and Tatnall and M. Hackbarth walked to load the bases with Torres at the plate. With a single to left field, Torres brought home Tatnall and Hill for two RBIs. 
  • In her first collegiate at-bat, Savannah Price hit a two-RBI single to extend the lead, 13-0. She would eventually reach home plate for ASU's 14th and final run of the game. 
  • Royalty held UIW at bay through all six innings - the Sun Devil defense never faced more than four Cardinals' at-bats. She threw a career-high 11 strikeouts with only two hits and two walks.