#14 Softball Hosts Pac-12 Home Opener
TEMPE, Ariz. -- There's no place like home, or Club Farrington, to be specific. The No. 14 Arizona State softball team returns to Sun Devil Country this weekend to host the Pac-12 home opener against the No. 6 Washington Huskies.
ASU (17-6, 0-3) preps to hold the first conference game at Alberta B. Farrington Softball Stadium since May 11, 2019, with the four-game series starting Friday, March 26, through Sunday, March 28.
The action starts on Friday night at 6:30 p.m. MST. The Sun Devils face the Huskies (22-2, 2-0) again on Saturday for a doubleheader at 2:00 and 5:00 p.m. MST. The second game counts as a non-conference matchup. On Sunday, the teams close out the series with the third and final conference contest at noon MST.
Top-15 matchup in Tempe ?? pic.twitter.com/Cqu5UH3ZO1
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) March 24, 2021
Through 21 starts, it's clear junior Makenna Harper is on a mission this season. After jumping into the lineup at the end of the 2020 season, the left fielder has climbed her way to become one of ASU's most reliable hitters in 2021. Her .415 batting average through 22 games played is second only to fifth-year Maddi Hackbarth (.433). Oh, and good luck keeping the California native from reaching base - she leads the Sun Devil squad and is tenth in the Pac-12 with a .508 on-base percentage.
HOW TO WATCH
All four games are available to stream on the Pac-12 ASU Live Stream.
SUN DEVIL REWIND
Amid a Pac-12 Conference pitching battle last Friday night, junior Makenna Harper hit a clutch solo home run against No. 2 UCLA to force extra innings. ASU pitchers Lindsay Lopez and Allison Royalty stifled the UCLA offense, holding them to only two runs through eight innings, the fewest for the Bruins in a win this entire season.
The trio of Jazmine Hill, Denae Chatman, and Maddi Hackbarth can hit but took the opportunity to showcase their defensive flair on Friday night. The right fielder, first baseman, and catcher connected on an incredible final out to send the game to extras.
LETS FORKING GOOOOOOO
TO EXTRAS WE GO pic.twitter.com/PbIro8YwyJ
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) March 20, 2021
The team's first conference battle of the year continued with a doubleheader on Saturday in LA. The pitching trio of Lopez, Royalty, and Cielo Meza all saw time as ASU eventually dropped both games on the day.
In Sunday's finale, seven underclassmen made appearances and gained experience in a loss on the road against the reigning national champions to close out ASU's first Pac-12 series.
- Double trouble! Twin Maddi Hackbarth leads the Pac-12 Conference in doubles with nine on the season. It ranks seventh in the nation.
- Maddi Hackbarth ranks first in the Pac-12 in home runs (12), home runs per game (0.55), RBIs (35), RBIs per game (1.59), slugging percentage (1.104), total bases (74).
- Jazmine Hill's 25 RBIs rank fourth in the conference.
- Six Sun Devils rank in the conference's top-20 in slugging percentage: M. Hackbarth (1st), Alli Tatnall (9th), Denae Chatman (13th), Makenna Harper (15th), Jazmine Hill (16th), Kindra Hackbarth (18th).
- Makenna Harper is the only player on the team to have a five-RBI game this season (against Northern Illinois).
- Allison Royalty's 64 strikeouts rank fifth in the 'Conference of Champions'
- Cielo Meza's average of 9.2 strikeouts per seven innings ranks in the top 10 of the Pac-12 Conference.