In their NCAA Tournament opener, ASU Softball suffered a 5-2 loss to McNeese State and dropped to 0-1 in the Baton Rouge Regional.
ASU starter Kelsey Kessler was unable to find a rhythm on the mound as she threw 127 pitches in six innings of work. She gave up nine hits, one home run and allowed five runs.
Kessler had trouble controlling her pitches, giving up 5 walks and hitting three McNeese State players.
Kessler’s stat line was uncharacteristic of her regular outings. One possible explanation for her tough day was that she did not receive a normal amount of rest time between innings.
McNeese State had a strong defensive game as they were in-and-out of five half-innings in 10 pitches or less.
ASU was unable to get anything going offensively against McNeese State pitcher Emily Vincent. The senior only gave up one hit in a 75-pitch gem. Vincent controlled the tempo and feel of the game with a dominant performance on the mound.
Ironically, it was the Sun Devils offense that did not produce today. While Kessler had a rough day, the bats of ASU were very quiet against this McNeese State team. The Sun Devils scored their two runs on the day thanks to errors by the McNeese State players and sacrifice-flies.
Following the loss, the Sun Devils must now win four straight games in order to reach the Super Regionals.
The outcome of this game is a perfect example of what can happen after a long losing streak in conference play. The Sun Devils looked out of sync as they faced a team out to prove that they are a force to be reckoned with in the Baton Rouge Regional.
ASU Softball will be in action tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. in an elimination game, follow @Devils_Detail for complete coverage of tomorrow’s must-win game!