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ASU softball: Mary Nutter Tournament day one takeaways

ASU wins then loses in first road games of the season.

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

No. 17 ASU (10-2) began it’s first day of the Mary Nutter Tournament on Thursday afternoon, and came away with one win and one loss at the end of the night. Here is what to takeaway from both games:

Game one: Juarez continues dominance in first road game of season.

Nothing has become more expected of Giselle ‘G’ Juarez than her ability to strikeout hitters.

The sophomore lefty was in full control from pitch number one to 93 as she totaled a career-high 12 strikeouts in a 3-1 win over the Mississippi State Bulldogs (9-2).

This has become a trend for Juarez who secured her third consecutive win on the season in ASU’s first game away from Tempe. Juarez continues to impress, lowering her ERA to 2.12 as a result of the victory.

Juarez is getting in better control of her pitches and is continuing to limit the opposition. Coach Trisha Ford had talked about how good she looked in her victory over San Diego last Sunday.

ASU’s three runs came from a 2-RBI double from first baseman Danielle Gibson in the first, and a RBI double in the seventh from shortstop Jade Gortarez.

On a lineup note, right fielder Kindra Hackbarth’s hot hitting has kept her at the top of the order. Third baseman Taylor Becerra hit out of the ninth spot in her first game back. She was 0 for 2.

Game two: First loss in two weeks comes in blowout fashion.

The Sun Devils took a 10-game winning streak into their night game against the No. 4 Oklahoma Sooners (7-1), and wouldn’t see it get to 11.

ASU had the home jerseys on but it did not feel like home in a 7-2 loss to the reigning national champions Thursday night in Palm Springs.

The Sooners were led offensively by designated player Jocelyn Alo, who tattooed Sun Devils’ Breanna Macha for two home runs. She went 2 for 2, both being the home runs, and added three RBIs and two walks.

Macha didn’t have the best start but the defense behind her didn’t help much either. A first inning error by Becerra led to three unearned runs in just that inning. Had Becerra made the play, Alo would never have stepped into the box in the first.

In the seventh, second baseman Marisa Stankiewicz committed an error with one out that led to a sacrifice fly by Sooner third baseman Sydney Romero.

Macha allowed eight hits and struck out five hitters in her complete game start. She threw 112 pitches.

The Sun Devils will look to recover tomorrow as they take on LIU Brooklyn (3-7). First pitch is scheduled for 11 a.m. MST.