Softball Drops Doubleheader at UCLA
LOS ANGELES -- The No. 11 Arizona State softball team dropped both games of a doubleheader at No. 2 UCLA on Saturday afternoon at Easton Stadium. Round one counted as a conference game while the second meeting contributed to the squad's non-conference record.
On a mild afternoon in sunny California, the Sun Devils (17-5) lost, 6-1 and 4-0, to the reigning national champions, the Bruins (18-1). The Sun Devil pitching trio of Lindsay Lopez, Allison Royalty, and Cielo Meza all saw time against the Bruins on Saturday.
In the first meeting of the day on the diamond, the Sun Devils struck early as Pac-12 RBI leader Maddi Hackbarth brought her twin, Kindra home with an RBI double in the first inning.
The senior-freshman tandem of Cielo Meza and Allison Royalty did the work in the circle for the Sun Devils in game one of the doubleheader, but Meza eventually suffered the first loss on her record this season.
THAT RISE BALL ??
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) March 20, 2021
Lindsay Lopez pitched five innings in game two against the Bruins, forcing 12 ground outs. The sophomore held UCLA scoreless through four innings and issued only one walk in 25 batters faced.
The Sun Devils go right back at it tomorrow, March 21, for the completion of the four-game series at Easton Stadium in a Sunday matinee starting at 2:00 p.m. MST on the Pac-12 Network.
Game 1: ASU 1, UCLA 6
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- To start the game, senior outfielder Kindra Hackbarth drew a leadoff walk before wisely working her way around the bases. Hackbarth advanced to second on a passed ball and tagged up to take third on a fly out. Maddi Hackbarth, the senior catcher, brought her home with an RBI double.
- Kindra Hackbarth moved into scoring position again in the top of the third when she stole second, her twelfth stolen base of the year.
- Meza got things started off punching three strikeouts in three innings. Royalty pitched in relief starting in the fourth, recording two strikeouts in three innings. Meza re-entered in the bottom of the sixth and closed out the game.
- The Sun Devils were unable to hit a ball out of the park in game one Saturday, a rare occurrence for the electrifying 2021 offense.
Game 2: ASU 0, UCLA 4
HOW IT HAPPENED
- Sophomore Jordyn VanHook made her first collegiate start at first base.
- Sun Devils went one-two-three in their half of the first inning. Lopez forced a popup to strand two UCLA runners on base in the bottom of the first.
- An E6 had Torres on first, and a single from Harper had runners on first and second for Acuna who hit into a fielder's choice. With one out and runners at the corners, Loomis drew a walk to load the bases to prompt a UCLA pitching change. Rachel Garcia entered for the Bruins and struck out two Sun Devils to end their half of the inning. Lopez makes quick work of the Bruins to end the second inning.
- Remained scoreless through four innings, as each team threatened but left runners on base.
- UCLA gets on the board first from an RBI single and error in the bottom of the fifth.
- The Sun Devils had a runner in scoring position to open the sixth, but three straight outs ended the inning. UCLA added to their lead with a solo home run, sac fly, and a single in the bottom of the sixth to put them up 4-0.
- The seventh inning rally fell short for ASU.