The Sun Devils are primed for another WCWS run, and have a trio of great players to lead them.
Arizona State's softball team never rebuilds. They simply reload and continue their annual quest for a national title.
That sustained success under head coach Clint Myers is made possible by the never-ending pipeline of talent to Tempe that he has established. While the team lost key players such as All-American shortstop Katelyn Boyd and pitcher Hillary Bach from last season's WCWS squad, the 2013 Sun Devils return plenty of other stars that have now received national recognition.
Outfielder Alix Johnson, pitcher Dallas Escobedo and catcher Amber Freeman were all among the players named to the 2013 USA Softball Top 50 Player of the Year Watch List.
Last season, Johnson hit .395 with 13 home runs and 53 RBI while earning All-American honors, following up on her outstanding freshman year in 2011.
For Escobedo, this is her second appearance on the list. After her sensational freshman year in leading ASU to the national title, Escobedo followed that up with a 24-8 record while striking out 237 batters.
Freeman is just one of eight sophomores on the list. As a freshman in 2012, she made 57 starts and hit .346 with 12 home runs and 46 RBI while providing outstanding defense behind the plate.
The season begins this Thursday at home as the team takes on New Mexico. First pitch is set for 7 p.m.