Softball Adds Five Star Power to Squad
TEMPE, Ariz. --- Sun Devil Softball return 15 from their 2021 squad including pitchers Lindsay Lopez and Allison Royalty. Joining them are three freshmen who will wear maroon and gold for the first time this season. The class made up of pitcher Mac Morgan, catcher Liliana Thomas, and infielder Cydney Sanders includes two Gatorade Players of the Year and two state champions from three states.
"This class is small but will have a huge impact in the growth of our program," said head coach Trisha Ford. "Mac, Cydney and Liliana are all highly ranked athletes that will come in and immediately compete for playing time. Mac is a hard throwing pitcher that will complement our current staff nicely. Cyd is someone that is going to do a lot of damage in the box, she is going to be special. Rounding out the class is Liliana who is a versatile player that will see time both behind the plate and compete in the infield. We are extremely excited to add these three players and their families to our Sun Devil softball program."
Joining the three freshmen are SEC transfers Jazmyn Rollin and Jessica Puk. Rollin spent her first two seasons with Missouri while Puk spent four seasons at Ole Miss.
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) September 15, 2021
High School: Sherwood (Creighton, Mo.)
Social: IG - @Mac_morgan55; Twitter - @mac89704385
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) June 25, 2021
The right-hander out of western Missouri stands 5-8 and throws heat from the circle – clocking high 60's and over 70 mph this fall with the Aces club. Extra Inning Softball named Morgan the No. 4 recruit in its Extra Elite 100 players. In 2019, Morgan was named the Gatorade Missouri Softball Player of the Year after leading her high school squad to a Class 2 state championship and a 26-3 record with a 0.12 ERA. As a junior, Morgan surrendered a mere 29 hits and issued 34 walks in 175.1 innings pitched. A two-time First-Team All-State selection, Morgan proved she's a dual-threat – striking out 366 batters and batting .590 with 14 home runs and 57 RBI. This summer, the 2018 & 2019 Aces Pitcher of the Year earned another ring by leading the club to the Boulder IDT championships. Morgan will graduate from Sherwood with 1,000 career strikeouts and back-to-back seasons with 16 home runs. Morgan is interested in science, biology, and exercise science. In looking for the right college fit, Morgan sought a place where she would feel most comfortable and chose ASU for its culture and fit. The warm weather and beauty of Farrington also sold her on becoming a Sun Devil.
High School: San Marcos (San Marcos, Calif.)
Social: IG - @_cydsanders_
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) November 11, 2020
The Sun Devils added to their big bat prowess with California native Cydney Sanders. Ranked No. 9 in Extra Inning Softball's Elite 100 Players, Sanders continues to improve through her high school career. As a freshman at San Marcos High School, Sanders hit a .556 batting average with 36 RBI and 14 home runs in 30 games played – marks that awarded her the 2018 California Freshman of the Year and helped her team claim the 2018 California State Championship. As a sophomore, Sanders earned the 2018-19 All-CIF First-Team and 2018-19 All-State First-Team. She was on her way to outpacing her lowerclassmen stats in her junior year when the canceled season halted her at seven runs, four home runs, and a .556 BA in a short six games. In the recruiting process, Sanders looked for a competitive softball program with outstanding academic programs to support her math, science, and sports psychology interests. She picked ASU over two other Pac-12 programs for the coaching staff and top-notch campus.
High School: Maryknoll (Honolulu, Hawaii)
Social: IG - @lilianak.thomas
We are excited to welcome our newest signee Liliana Thomas to the Sun Devil Ohana ???
Hawaii's Gatorade Player of the Year is officially a SUN DEVIL ?? pic.twitter.com/1AVIjLEC8S
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) November 12, 2020
Thomas, a player for the Firecrackers out of California for five years running, was named the 2020 Hawaii Gatorade Player of the Year. In her sophomore campaign, Thomas hit 19 home runs and 63 RBI for the Firecrackers. Last summer, Thomas brought the heat, collecting six home runs and 22 RBI in 12 games for the Firecrackers at the Colorado Fireworks Power Pool tournament. A two-time Second Team All-State selection for Maryknoll, Thomas is ranked the nation's No. 31 recruit according to Extra Inning Softball. Accustomed to the west coast and elite, competitive softball from her time on the Firecrackers, Thomas aimed to join a Pac-12 program and noted ASU as her dream school. Ultimately, it was her love for the ASU coaching staff that sealed the deal to name Thomas a Sun Devil.
Social: IG - @queenrollin4
Rollin, a native of Salt Lake City, joins the Sun Devil Family as a transfer after two seasons with Missouri.
"We're ecstatic to welcome Jaz to Tempe and into the Sun Devil family," Ford said. "She brings experience in multiple infield positions and is a dangerous offensive threat that we love in our lineup. She's a new Sun Devil, but she's already got our DNA."
Rollin brings a proven big bat presence to the Sun Devil roster. She started all 26 games in the shortened 2020 season - making 17 starts at shortstop, a start a second, and eight starts at designated player. She was third on the team with a .364 batting average, going 28-for-77 at the plate. Through 26 games, Rollin scored 27 runs, while adding five doubles, a triple, and a team-high seven home runs for a .364/.495/.727 batting line. As a sophomore, Rollin posted 11 multi-hit games on the year.
Rollin's offensive prowess doesn't stop outside of the batter's box. She's also a threat on the basepaths, going 14-for-16 on stolen base attempts – only three shy of tying her total from 2019, despite playing in half as many games.
During the 2020 season, she was named to the all-tournament team at the NFCA Leadoff Classic, batting in six runs with four extra-base hits on the weekend.
In her freshman campaign, Rollin was named to the SEC's All-Freshman team while she also received national acclaim, as she was one of just 25 freshmen nationwide to earn a spot on the NFCA/Schutt Sports Freshman of the Year Watch List. In addition, Rollin was also named to Softball America's Freshman of the Year Watch List while also taking home SEC Freshman of the Week Honors (March 25) for her performances against Bradley and during Mizzou's road sweep of then-No. 13 Kentucky.
?? PITCHERS BEWARE ??
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) June 23, 2021
She finished her first-year campaign with staggering numbers, batting .331(49-139) to go along with 43 runs scored, 10 doubles, 10 homers, and 41 RBI. Rollin's unique athleticism was on display all year, as she led the team with her 17 stolen bases, while her 10 home runs were tied for second-most on the squad. She became the first Tiger to post double-digit homers and double-digit stolen bases in the same season since 2016. Despite limited playing time, she did all of this, appearing in 55 of Mizzou's 60 games while only starting in 44 of those games.
Rollin's Trophy Case
- SEC Spring Academic Honor Roll (2020)
- NFCA / Schutt Sports Freshman of the Year - Top 25 Finalist (2019)
- SEC All-Freshman Team (2019)
- SEC Freshman of the Week (2019- Week 3)
Previous: Ole Miss
Social: IG - @jessipuk
Puk, a native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa, comes to Tempe as a Southeastern Conference standout with four seasons at Ole Miss. The graduate transfer served as Ole Miss Softball's team captain in 2021, one of the many accolades on her resume.
"We're so excited to welcome Jessica into the Sun Devil family," Ford said. "She has a ton of elite softball experience and that offensive power we love at Arizona State. Jessica also brings some much-needed depth, and we're proud to add a proven leader to our roster."
— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) June 11, 2021
The captain played many roles on the field with Ole Miss, notching time at left field, second base, and catcher. She boasts a .259 career batting average at the plate with some Sun Devil-Esque hitting power at the plate. Since her sophomore year in 2019, Puk started every game for the Rebels, marking 149 games through her four-year Rebels career. Puk is also no stranger to the postseason, playing on three NCAA Tournament teams since her freshman season in 2018.
In 2021, Puk helped lead the Rebels to the championship game of the Tucson Regional in the NCAA Tournament. She hit .263 in her senior season while tallying 32 RBIs, ranked third on the team, topped with 34 runs and six home runs through 58 games in 2021. Puk collected eight multi-RBI games, including two games with more than five.
Puk was off to a hot start in 2020 before the season was cut short due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She started all 25 games at either designated player or outfield and finished the season on a 13-game reached base streak, the longest on the team. In addition, Puk led the Rebels with 16 RBIs and posted a .324 batting average, the third-highest on the team.
As a sophomore, Puk started all 61 games, primarily at second base. In 2019, she batted .250 with a .366 on-base percentage and a .464 slugging percentage. She drove in 41 runs with ten multi-RBI games, both second-most on the team. Puk excelled at the long ball in her second season as her nine home runs ranked second on the team.
Puk's trophy case boasts awards as a 2019 SEC Spring Honor Roll member, 2018 First-Year Honor Roll member, and a 2018 NFCA Easton Schola