ASU softball won their third straight game Saturday night run-ruling Notre Dame 9-1 in six innings with G Juarez throwing a one-run complete game.
Arizona State continued their winning ways Saturday night in the Kajikawa Classic defeating Notre Dame 9-1 in six innings.
The Sun Devils received a brilliant pitching performance from pitcher G Juarez who threw a complete game allowing one earned run on three hits with a walk and 10 strikeouts.
Juarez bounced back in her second start of the season after allowing six earned runs in five innings in the season opener against Tennessee.
“I think everything was working,” Juarez said. “I was focused on spinning my ball and letting my ball dance so I think that was my biggest thing tonight and focusing on us.”
“I thought she [Juarez] threw well tonight,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “She’s special on that mound. She’s left-handed, that ball is dancing, she did a great job.”
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Arizona State gave Juarez some early production was shortstop Jade Gortarez hitting a two-run home run in the first inning for her first home run as a Sun Devils.
After Notre Dame got a run back on a solo home from designated player Cait Brooks in the top of the fourth inning, ASU responded instantly scoring two runs in the bottom of the fourth thanks to a Fighting Irish wild pitch and error.
The Sun Devils completed the run-rule win with four runs in the sixth inning on a two-run single by center fielder Morgan Howe and an RBI single from Fa Leilua. A wild pitcher from Notre Dame pitcher Alexis Holloway scored Howe to secure the walk-off win.
Holloway finished throwing 5.2 innings allowing nine runs (six earned) on eight hits and six walks to go along with five strikeouts.
“That pitcher is good. She [Holloway] has a good up-ball, down-ball and changeup,” Ford said. “I think we did a good job of getting good pitches. She had to come into that zone… I thought we did a much better job being disciplined and making sure we can get pitches we could drive.”
Arizona State continues to receive production from up-and-down the entire lineup as seven hitters recorded a hit tonight. Ford talked about the importance of having a balanced lineup.
“It’s pretty exciting. I think one through nine we have an opportunity to put some runs on the board quickly,” Ford said. “You’re going to have ups and downs throughout the season so it’s important that you don’t just have a couple kids and waiting for the top of the lineup to come up.
“We’re going to have that ability to, if someone is not having their day, to still produce runs. We’re just excited about a pretty balanced attack”
Arizona State will conclude the Kajikawa Classic with two games Sunday beginning at 11:30 a.m. versus Indiana followed by a match-up versus St. Mary’s at 4:30 p.m. MT.
It’s two big games. Indiana is going to be a tough team,” Ford said. “They’re scrappy, they’ve got a new coach, got new life. They’re playing hard. I watched them today and they’ve got some bats in that lineup. Obviously, I think if we play our game, we’re going to end up where we want to be.”