Round of 16
Team Accomplishments Region
No. 7 "Camp Tontozona Reopens" vs. No. 3 "Softball Opens Season on 21-Game Win Streak"
The Case for "Camp T": It may seem silly to say, but for my money, so much of what head coach Todd Graham was able to do right in his first year began with the return to Camp Tontozona. The fact that Graham and the all-powerful Steve Patterson managed to restore one of Arizona State's greatest traditions in their first years on the job is something that needs to be applauded.
Getting back to the camp that Frank Kush built for the first time since 2008 was the perfect way to transition from the tumultuous Dennis Erickson era. Although it's just practice, it undoubtedly meant something to a fanbase that left fractured and searching for a true identity after the late 2000s. Need proof? How about the $160,000 raised by the ASU community to get their football team back up to that magically green preseason practice.
Face it gang, there's just something special about singing the fight song on top of Mount Kush. So if you believe in the sanctity of tradition, move "Camp T" on to the next round. - Cody Ulm
The Case for "Softball": It's hard to imagine a team beginning a season in more dominant fashion than the ASU Softball team did this year. The Sun Devils opened the year with 21 consecutive victories including an incredible 10 mercy-rule victories. Dallas Escobedo and company charged out of the gates and swept a pair of tournaments that included teams from all around the country.
While the Sun Devils avoided playing a ranked team in their first 21, the streak is no less impressive because of the style of victories Arizona State recorded. On many occasions, Dallas Escobedo and company were forced to play twice in one day and early morning contests after late-night games. Remarkably, the Sun Devils never lost focus until ultimately succumbing to the No. 20 Baylor Bears nearly a full month after the season started.
The 21-game streak to begin the season is Arizona State's longest ever to start the season and will go down as one of the best starts ever to a collegiate softball campaign. In total, the Sun Devils allowed one run or less in 13 of the 21 victories as well. The bus stops here for Camp T, the softball team deserves some credit. -Kerry Crowley