Softball Continues Offseason Moves, Five Added to Roster
TEMPE, Ariz. – Head coach Megan Bartlett has searched the country with success as five more players are traveling to the desert to become Sun Devils. The group of Taylor and Kenzie Nicholson, Gianna Boccagno, Mackenzie Osborne, and Kenzie Brown features a sister duo, four transfers, and two right-handed pitchers. All are expected to get playing time in 2023, and their additions bring the Sun Devils' total roster size to 18 as of July 29.
Joining Arizona State softball in the circle are junior Mac Osborne and sophomore Kenzie Brown.
After spending two seasons near home at Virginia Tech, Mackenzie Obsorne has ventured out west to help boost the Sun Devils in the circle. Her freshman year at VT featured 15 appearances and five starts in the circle during 2021.
"Mac has dangerous vertical movement on the mound with a good off speed pitch," coach Bartlett said. "She's a competitor and hungry to win a starting role. The coaching staff connected with her personality and presence right away. We can't wait to see her in Maroon and Gold."
The now-junior earned her first ACC start against Louisville where she struck out three batters in five innings. In multiple occurrences during the 2021 season, Osborne came in to pitch in a relief effort for the Hokies during conference play. Her best start featured a complete game against Radford where she allowed just one run. She ended the season with a 2.76 ERA, 22 strikeouts and two wins on the year. This past season, Osborne went to work in six games and earned a win against Miami (OH) in the Blacksburg Regional, pitching a shutout inning and allowing no hits.
Checking in at 5-11, Makenzie Brown will make her way to Tempe after a single season at Tulsa where she earned three wins in 22 appearances. Brown notched a career high in strikeouts with five in two and two-thirds innings against East Carolina. The Illinois native was named Defensive Player of the Year as a sophomore in high school and also participated in basketball, track and field and volleyball.
"Kenzie is a power pitcher with an excellent rise ball and she moves effortlessly on the mound. She's a gifted athlete and spicy competitor. We're excited to see how her career unfolds as a Sun Devil."
After four years at Boston College, Gianna Boccagno is using her fifth year to transfer to Arizona State. As a senior last season, Boccagno started 32 of her 40 games.
"Gianna will provide a valuable veteran presence behind the dish and in the clubhouse. She's a selfless teammate and takes pride in building relationships with each of her pitchers. Gianna is an excellent receiver with a big arm. We're thrilled to welcome her to Tempe."
Boccagno had a team-leading seven home runs, and her 15 RBIs ranked fifth on the team in 2022. In 2019, as a freshman, she started 43 games at catcher and seven at third base where she set career highs in hits, RBIs, runs, total bases and home runs.
Taylor and Kenzie Nicholson, Virginia natives, are switching to Maroon and Gold after having prior commitments to Missouri. Taylor, the eldest sister, spent a season with the Tigers as a redshirt while Kenzie veered to ASU before ever getting to college.
"Taylor is an explosive athlete and a powerful hitter. She will immediately compete for a spot in the middle of our lineup. Both of her parents are college softball coaches and she knows what it takes to win at a very high level. She'll give us another solid option on the left side of the infield."
"Kenzie is a firecracker! She is a very good hitter who will bring speed and athleticism to the lineup. She can play about any position on the field and loves the game. I admire her determination and we're so happy she chose ASU."
- 21 appearances and six starts in the circle for her career at Virginia Tech, with a 3.82 ERA in her two seasons for the Hokies.
- Recorded a season high five strikeouts against Michigan State.
- Has a career record of 4-1 with Virginia Tech, and came in relief multiple times in her two years in Blacksburg.
- Used a medical redshirt for her freshman season from Missouri, retaining her freshman status as she transfers to Tempe, she appeared in two games for the Tigers.
- Came into college as the 85th ranked recruit by Extra Innings Softball after hitting .605, four home runs, five triples, 24 RBIs, and 31 stolen bases in her senior year at Warhill High School in Virginia.
- Batted .534 with 28 steals and only one strikeout as a freshman (2018) at Warhill High – followed by batting .484 with 32 extra-base hits for East Cobb that summer
- Ranked among Extra Innings' top 75 players nationally in the Class of 2022
- Most recently played for Georgia Impact U18 Team
- Her freshman season featured 22 appearances with three wins for Tulsa while pitching 52.2 innings.
- Notched a career high five strikeouts four separate times against East Carolina, Wichita State, DePaul & Louisiana Tech.
- Longest appearance was against Minnesota where she struck out four.
- Last season, she appeared in 40 games while starting in 32 games for the Eagles, where she had a team leading seven home runs and was tied for fifth on the team with 15 RBIs.
- In 2019 as a freshman she set career highs in hits (30),, RBIs (24), total bases (59) and home runs (8)
- Has a career batting average of .186, with 22 home runs, 58 RBIs while throwing out 30 baserunners over her four years at Boston College.
- Started seven games at third base her freshman year, but has more experience behind the plate. For her career for the Eagles she has 153 appearances which includes 143 starts.
Sun Devil Softball will continue to add to the roster. To keep track of who to currently look out for in the 2023 season, check out the list below.
Sun Devils from 2022 Season
Halle Harger (Gr)
Jazmyn Rollin (Sr)
Marissa Schuld (Jr)
Liliana Thomas (So)
Savannah Price (Jr)
Jordyn VanHook (Sr)
Yanni Acuña (Gr)
Emily Cazares (Jr)
Makenna Harper (Gr)
Jazmine Hill (Sr)
Incoming Sun Devils as of July 29
Kayln McCarthy, OF (Fr)
Kylee MaGee, RHP (Fr)
Deborah Jones, RHP (Transfer from Ball State)
Mac Osborne, RHP (Transfer from Virginia Tech)
Taylor Nicholson, INF (Transfer from Mizzou)
Kenzie Nicholson, 2B/OF (Fr)
Kenzie Brown, RHP (Transfer from Tulsa)
Gianna Boccagno, C (Graduate Transfer from Boston College)