ASU Softball: Sun Devils win first of three against Utah

ASU softball played a nearly perfect game, loading the bases multiple times, had great pitching and strong defense. They beat Utah, 13-0, in five innings.

The Sun Devils opened the game with two early errors, but pitcher Samantha Mejia kept the bases clear for the rest of the first inning. Mejia pitched with near perfection through the first three innings, giving up only one hit and and getting two strikeouts.

The bats also woke up early and did not fall asleep as Kindra Hackbarth began the game with a walk. The next two batters — Skylar McCarty and Morgan Howe –loaded the bases with Hackbarth and brought up Jade Gortarez. Gortarez was the first of a few batters to clear the bases, as she did so with a stand up double.

Later in the inning, DeNae Chatman flew out, but got the RBI with a sacrifice fly and ended the first inning with four runs for the Sun Devils.

ASU kept the ball rolling as Mejia got the side going up and down with no Utes reaching base.

Later in the second inning, the Sun Devils’ bats kept pounding as they loaded the bases again and Chatman ripped a line drive to right field to clear the bases. Yannira Acuna also got an RBI that inning, as the Devils added another four to the scoreboard to go up by eight after two.

The third inning was all about clearing the bases once again, as Maddi Hackbarth hit a 3-run home run over the scoreboard in left field to put the Sun Devils up by double digits.

“I think that our team so far has went through a lot of adversity and I think that we found our identity,” Maddi Hackbarth said. “Hitting the ball and scoring runs is a huge part of that.”

The inning finished with four straight walks and another run for the Sun Devils.

The defense stepped up and helped Mejia keep the one-hit performance through the fourth inning while Maddi Hackbarth hit her second home run of the game to boost the lead to 13-0.

The game ended in a run-rule limit, as Mejia finished the night with a complete game shutout and only gave up one hit in the entire contest.

It’s More Than a Game, Too

This game was special to the Sun Devils, not only because they jumped ahead of the Utes in Pac-12 standings, but Alexis, an honorary Sun Devil, had the opportunity to witness a win after being “adopted” by the team on Wednesday.

Alexis joins the sisterhood and has been a great inspiration to the team by fighting Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and sharing her love for the Sun Devils’ softball team.

Abby Andersen and Mejia helped Alexis throw the first pitch and talked about her encourage and support for the team both on and off the field.

“Alexis is such a happy and such a great little girl,” Mejia said,  “She’s one of our sisters now and it was heartwarming to have her out there.”

“We just have great kids. We are not even talking about softball; we are talking about the kind of people we have,” Coach Trisha Ford added. “Sam is just a tremendous example of somebody who you want your kids to be around.”

“Abby took her underneath her wing, and it makes me proud of what they’re doing and how they’re shaping.”

All quotes in this article were obtained firsthand by Devils in Detail unless otherwise noted.