SALT LAKE CITY -- Get the bus karaoke ready, No. 14 Sun Devil Softball is on the road again at Pac-12 Conference foe, Utah, this week. Arizona State (19-8, 2-3) revised its schedule in coordination with Utah (11-13, 0-6) and the Conference to play a three-game conference-only series on Thursday, April 1-Saturday, April 3.
The Utes and Sun Devils are far from strangers this season as ASU already played host to Utah during the tournament season in February. ASU came away with two wins, 9-4 and 8-2.
The two aren't in-state rivals but make no mistake; the rivalry is there. It evolved as a slow burner - one that accumulated from years of hard-fought battles, upsets, and comebacks. Under head coach Trisha Ford, the most notable game in the history books is the "see it to believe it" walk-off after being down 17-9 going into the seventh inning. The Sun Devils scored nine runs in the seventh, and even more unbelievably, eight players touched home plate with two outs on the board. So, yeah, we've got history.
"Tat had no idea what the score was" ?? pic.twitter.com/OwFcwIiqJc
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) May 14, 2020
In 1975 ASU and Utah met for the first time on the diamond. Since then, ASU owns the all-time series record, 41-19, including the two dubs this season. The longest win streak in series history is nine wins from 1975-1981. The 2021 squad is currently on an eight-game win streak against the Utes dating back to 2018.
SUN DEVIL REWIND
The game isn't over until the final out, and ASU amplified that message in a comeback upset of fellow Pac-12 competitor, the No. 6 Washington Huskies last Friday night. Down 4-0 through four innings, ASU hit, pitched, stole bases, drew walks, and executed baserunning to collect the walk-off, 5-4, win against UW. Tied 4-4 in the seventh inning, Kindra Hackbarth demonstrated the art of baserunning, stealing home off of a pickle situation to hand ASU its first conference win of the season.
This rundown led to a walkoff ??
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 30, 2021
The next night, ASU clinched the series in a dominant 6-1 win in a big bat symphony, hitting three home runs, including two from Kindra Hackbarth, to secure the series with a 6-1 win.
The dominant pitching tandem of Allison Royalty and Lindsay Lopez in the circle and the explosive ASU offense set sail as the Sun Devils cruised to the series clinch in game one. The nightcap served as a non-conference slugfest, but the Sun Devils eventually fell 14-7 in a heavy bat battle.
- Makenna Magic: need to advance runners, need a hit with runners in scoring position, need a hit with two outs? Makenna Harper is the batter. She leads the team in all three categories over the last ten games. With runners on-base Harper hits a team-high .636 batting average. She's hit two home runs, eight RBI and five runs in two weeks against two top-ten teams: No. 2 UCLA and No. 6 UW. In the last ten starts, she notched a team-high .462 average followed by Maddi Hackbarth's .333 batting average.
- Maddi Hackbarth leads the Pac-12 in RBI (35), doubles (10), total bases (78), and home runs (12)
- Kindra Hackbarth hit two home runs in a single game against then-No. 6 UW. She is the fourth Sun Devil to do so this season. She is also tied for third in the Pac-12 in stolen bases (13)
- Jazmine Hill's got the muscle: bringing in 29 RBI, second on the team to Maddi and fourth in the Pac-12
- Allison Royalty's 74 strikeouts is sixth in the Pac-12
- Kindra played her 215th career game last Sunday against UW. Maddi Hackbarth is seven games away from her 200th career game. Cielo Meza is seven starts away from 100 career starts.
- Bella Loomis hit two leadoff home runs against then-No. 6 UW in two games on March 27. Fourteen Sun Devils have hit leadoff HRs this season.
- ASU is 15-1 when the team hits at least two home runs.
- Longest win streak against Utah in series history is nine wins from 1975-1981. The current win streak dating back to 2018 is eight wins
LAST TIME IT HAPPENED UPDATES
- The last time ASU defeated a top-10 team was in 2020 against No. 10 Kentucky. The Sun Devils picked up two wins against the Wildcats, including a walkoff in the 11th inning. Last weekend, No. 14 ASU defeated then-No. 6 Washington twice to clinch the Pac-12 series.
- The last time ASU won off a seventh inning walk-off hit was vs. No. 14 Northwestern on Feb. 8, 2020 by Kindra Hackbarth. ASU did it again vs. then-No. 6 Washington last Friday night.
- Won after being tied heading into the seventh inning vs. Stanford was May 4, 2018. ASU was tied 4-4 with then-No. 6 Washington last Friday night before collecting the 5-4 win.