Softball is All Aboard, Destination OKC
TEMPE, Ariz. -- The world has waited two long years to see postseason softball. After arguably the longest road in sports history, the Women's College World Series is finally on the horizon. The No. 15 seed Sun Devil Softball begins the postseason trek to Oklahoma City and Championship glory as host of the NCAA's Tempe Regional starting this Thursday, May 20, at 7 p.m. on ESPN3.
Arizona State (32-14,12-9) hosts Brigham Young (36-15), Virginia Tech (33-13), and Southern Illinois (37-14).
For a team that boasts 16 consecutive postseason appearances, the blueprint of a successful team is a familiar one for ASU. The Sun Devils hosted a Regional once under head coach Trisha Ford in 2018. That season, the team went on to compete as one of the eight teams in OKC.
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) May 17, 2021
TEMPE REGIONAL SCHEDULE
Game 1: Virginia Tech vs. BYU
4:30 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
Game 2: ASU vs. Southern Illinois
7:00 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
Game 3: Friday
Winner Game 1 vs. Winner Game 2
1 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
Game 4: Friday
Loser Game 1 vs. Loser Game 2
3:30 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
Game 5: Friday
Winner Game 4 vs. Loser Game 3
6:00 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
Game 6: Saturday
Winner Game 3 vs. Winner Game 5
3 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
Game 7: Saturday (if necessary)
Winner Game 6 vs. Loser Game 6
5:30 p.m. MST | Live Stats | ESPN3
With a nearly flawless non-conference run in their back pocket, including a 60-run weekend, the Sun Devils faced the Pac-12 for the first time in two years. ASU stumbled in the Pac-12 season opener at No. 2 seed UCLA, but it was only up from there.
The next weekend, ASU collected the series win over then-No. 6 Washington. The series win train kept rolling through Utah and against Stanford after that.
The highlight of the regular season falls on rivalry weekend as ASU hosted then-No. 8 Arizona. Trisha Ford had yet to win a series against UA, but in 2021, it was all gas, no breaks against the Wildcats. The Sun Devils collected a Pac-12 Conference series sweep over UA, their first against that team down south since 2012.
Two weeks later, after a canceled series at Cal, ASU hosted then-No. 8 Oregon for a highly anticipated series. ASU dropped the first game in extra innings but went on to win the remaining three games to collect ANOTHER series win.
» Series wins vs 3 Top-10 teams (UW, UofA, Oregon)
» Conference sweep vs UofA
» Quality wins vs Baylor, Iowa State, CSUF (2)
» 4th in the #Pac12
» We hit a lot of home runs
» Scored 60 runs on the road in a weekend pic.twitter.com/HSskjXVmwc
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) May 16, 2021
ASU suffered only its second series loss of the season at Oregon State in the regular-season finale.
ASU spent 14-straight weeks in the top-15 of the NFCA/USA Today Poll. ASU flirted and built a resume against programs ranked in the top-10 with games scheduled against then-No. 2 Oklahoma, then-No. 2 UCLA, then-No. 6 Washington, then-No. 8 Arizona and then-No. 8 Oregon.
Arizona State boasts five-straight series wins over then-No. 6 UW, Utah, Stanford, then-No. 8 UA, and then-No. 8 UO. ASU also improved its record against ranked opponents to 9-9 with matches against top-10 programs UCLA, Oklahoma, Oregon, and Arizona.
The Sun Devils finished the regular season fourth in the Pac-12 Conference table.
- ASU has hosted a Regional seven times since 2007. The last time Alberta B. Farrington held a Regional round was in 2018, and Trisha Ford's team participated in the WCWS that season.
- The Sun Devils faced BYU in a doubleheader in the 2021 season opener. ASU came away with two wins, including one that went to extra innings. It was only the second-ever meeting between the two programs who first took the diamond together in 2001.
- ASU is 4-1 against Virginia Tech, last playing against the Hokies in 2013.
- History with SIUE dates the furthest, all the way to 1982 when the Sun Devils beat the Cougars, 10-2. They met again in 1985 and lastly in 2003 to boast a 2-1 record.
- Maddi Hackbarth tied the program's single-season record for home runs with her 20th HR of the season against Oregon. The record was set by Katie Cochran (2009) and Cheyenne Coyle (2013).
- Fifth year catcher Maddi Hackbarth represents Arizona State on the 2021 Pac-12 All-First Team. She is followed by junior outfielder Makenna Harper on the All-Second Team and Kindra Hackbarth, Jazmine Hill, and Lindsay Lopez on the All-Third Team. True freshman pitcher Allison Royalty earned a spot on the Pac-12 All-Freshman team along with Hill and Lopez.
- Maddi Hackbarth leads Pac-12 in HRs (20) and RBI (58)
- Jazmine Hill is a Top 30 Finalist of the NFCA Top Freshman Award.
- Allison Royalty (124.2) & Lindsay Lopez (122.1) have thrown the sixth and seventh-most innings out of Pac-12 pitchers.