Kindra Hackbarth and ASU softball came into last weekend with eager and determination as the Sun Devils started the season 4-1.
Hackbarth ended last season with career-highs and team-highs throughout the offensive side and played tremendously on the defensive side as well. As a sophomore last year, Hackbarth led the team in batting average (.368), hits (74), and triples (5).
In the Kajikawa Classic, she built off the career season going 6-for-14 with seven runs, five walks, three doubles, two RBIs, and a 1.000 fielding percentage. She will be a huge weapon for the team this year on both sides of the ball and is looking to do what is best for her team.
“Last year I slapped most of the time and this year now I’m hitting most of the time,” Hackbarth said. “I have both now so it’s kind of like a triple threat. I am going to do what is best for the team, the defense, do whatever I can to get on base, and score runs.”
Hackbarth will be one of the fewer upperclassmen on this young team here at ASU, but her expectations are set high, especially after a stellar first weekend.
“I’m hoping to host again, but as we’re ranked 12th right now, it is irritating,” Hackbarth said.
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“I’m hoping to host both Regionals and Super Regionals. The College World Series was big for us last year. Two and done kind of hit us in the gut a little bit, so once we get there we’re hoping to take it and win some and just have fun.”
Hackbarth has been dominant and is looking to roll with her team with this target on our back approach. She believes this team is ready for whoever is in their way.
“We’re ready. We’ve been looking forward to this and we have a lot of targets on our back and we are just going to keep going.”
Not only does Hackbarth have high expectations and think this team is hungry, she feels there is no age gap between freshman and seniors and everyone will dominate on this team.
“Nobody in the stands can tell which age was which. It doesn’t matter what year they are because on the field everyone wants to win and this team has lots of firepower,” Hackbarth said. “We’re the underdogs, nobody expects us to do what we did last year and that just drives us even more.”
However, there is a slight difference in the age by leadership. Although coach Ford is not avid of captains on her team, the seniors are usually vocal. But Hackbarth leads non-verbally.
“I try to lead more by example more than verbally because we have three seniors and they are very good at being vocal about how things are done,” Hackbarth said. “My leadership is more by example because hustle on and hustle off the field. Being the person and playing the role that girls want to be.”
Coach Ford is ready for Hackbarth this upcoming season after a spectacular season. The first words coming out of what she expects from Hackbarth is more dominance. Hackbarth will be a big play for the offense this year. The all-out hustle and tenacity she brings is what Coach Ford loves to see out of her.
“Kindra is one of our hardest working players on our team,” Ford said. “She’s always out here doing extra in the weight room, on the field. She is somebody on that field who has that desire inside that you really can’t coach, so for me I’m excited to see what she kinda brings to the table.
Hackbarth is obviously going to be a fan-favorite for the team due to her performances on the field and Ford believes that she is worth watching in Tempe.
“She’s another one who is really special and I hope we as a fanbase really enjoy watching her play,” Ford said.
Hackbarth and the Sun Devils (4-1) will be staying in Tempe for a four-day tournament. The Sun Devils will start the Littlewood Classic against Illinois State (0-5) on Thursday at 6:30 p.m. MT.
All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.