Arizona State softball stars Amber Freeman and Dallas Escobedo didn't go to the same high school. They don't even hail from the same state. Still, the pair managed to play with each other before Freeman even made it to Arizona State to play at Farrington Stadium.
Freeman and Escobedo played with each other on the 2010-2011 USA Softball Junior Women's National Team.
"I'm really excited," Escobedo said of Freeman. "Freshman, sophomore, junior year she (Freeman) has developed so much, this year it's just exciting to say 'Dude we can do this.'"
Freeman was still in high school when Escobedo led the 2011 edition of the Sun Devils to a national championship with Kaylyn Castillo catching behind the plate but for the past two seasons, Escobedo and Freeman have developed a bond.
“We’re really close on and off the field, always cracking jokes and stuff,” Freeman said.
“This year I mean she’s left a great mark on ASU but I want her to finish it. I think to come in and win a national championship is awesome but to go out and win a national championship would be unbelievable," Freeman said.
Escobedo has accumulated a 91-17 record with a 2.05 ERA over her three-year career so far at ASU.
“She knows me so well, like I trust her to call any pitches,” Escobedo said. "She’s really developed mentally and physically throughout so I’m really excited for her and myself."
Last year was the first time Escobedo really struggled on the mound at times. She was vulnerable to the long ball giving up 39 home runs in 250.2 innings pitched but still dominated most hitters. Freeman also went through a small slump in the middle of the season when former head coach Clint Myers admitted Freeman was having issues mentally at the plate.
“This is a game of failure," head coach Craig Nicholson said. "It's how you deal with failure to some degree or another that dictates your future successes.”
Freeman and Escobedo have both been named to the 2014 USA Softball Top 50 Watch List alongside ASU shortstop Cheyenne Coyle. The list will be narrowed down throughout the season to eventually name a USA Softball collegiate Player of the Year. Freeman hit .333 with two home runs and four RBI playing for team USA this past summer at the World Cup of Softball where the team earned the silver medal.