The theme of Arizona State’s 2018 season continued during the No. 17 Sun Devils’ (13-2) 7-3 victory over Cal State Fullerton (6-8) in their Mary Nutter Tournament finale.
Once again, new additions to the roster carried the maroon and gold offense, all seven of the Sun Devils’ runs Sunday were driven in by either freshmen or transfers.
Freshman first baseman Danielle Gibson got things started for the Sun Devils leading off the second inning with a solo home run to make the game 1-0. Gibson had a fantastic weekend in Palm Springs — averageing of .500, two home runs, five RBIs, and four runs scored over the team’s five games.
The Titans quickly answered back after Gibson’s home run, taking a lead 3-1 after the third inning. The inning was senior pitcher Breanna Macha’s only blemish on her final state line, as Cal State Fullerton scored all three of its runs and collected four of their six hits in the third frame. Macha pitched her game on Sunday, though, recording 10 ground outs.
The Sun Devils reclaimed the lead in the fourth with a big inning of their own. Senior designated player Nichole Chilson and senior second baseman Marisa Stankiewicz reached base by a single and a walk. With two outs, freshman third baseman Bella Loomis delivered a single to cut the Titans’ lead to one. Arizona State had been 0-for-5 with runners on before Loomis’ single.
Sophomore right fielder Kindra Hackbarth continued the inning with a bunt single that tied the game. Transfers junior centerfielder Morgan Howe and sophomore shortstop Jade Gortarez hit back to back singles of their own to give the Sun Devils a 5-3 lead after four innings.
Stankiewicz and junior left fielder Skylar McCarty started a two out rally in the fifth with two singles. Loomis and Hackbarth followed with two more hits as both collected their second RBIs of the game.
With a 7-3 lead, Macha went six up, six down over the last two innings to complete the Sun Devil win.
Moving to 13-2 on the season, head coach Trisha Ford and the Devils improve from their 12-3 record they had last year after the Mary Nutter Tournament. The team will need to tighten up on defense moving forward as the Sun Devils committed 10 errors over the weekend in California.
Arizona State returns to Farrington Stadium on Friday and Saturday as they play two games against Coastal Carolina and one against New Mexico State.