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ASU Softball: No. 14 Sun Devils extend winning streak to eight with Chilson’s five RBIs

Senior Nichole Chilson carried the offensive workload on Wednesday night

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

It’s always an oddity to look at the scoreboard to see a team with more runs than hits, but that’s what the Sun Devils did on Wednesday night.

The Arizona State (18-2) offense collected only 10 hits in their 13-0 win over the Georgetown Hoyas (5-13). Senior left fielder Nichole Chilson and sophomore center fielder Kindra Hackbarth combined to drive in eight of the team’s 13 runs.

Chilson got things started in the first inning for the second straight game as the 14-ranked Sun Devils jumped out to a 3-0 lead. Georgetown’s pitcher Anna Brooks Pacha hit sophomore shortstop Jade Gortarez and walked junior right fielder Morgan Howe before giving up a three-run home run to Chilson.

“I’m pretty locked in,” Chilson said. “You know it’s pretty funny, coach Ford we’re always having conversation she’s like ‘you look so confidence in the box and so calm,’ I’m like I do I fell really calm. I’m just really zoned in on pitches being thrown. I feel good right now.”

Chilson wasn’t done just yet as she had Gortarez and Howe in scoring position once again in the third. With a single to right field the senior left fielder complied her fourth and fifth RBIs of the night.

“Chilly, she’s done a great job,” Sun Devils’ head coach Trisha Ford said. “She’s been calm, cool, relaxed. She’s had just great at-bats. She’s had a couple really good at-bats, especially with two strikes. For me it’s just continuing to keep her calm, keep her confident in that box but she’s done just a wonderful job.”

Arizona State added two more runs in the third before the speedy Hackbarth stepped up to the plate with the bases loaded. She skipped one past the diving Hoyas’ left fielder Theresa Kane as she cleared the bases with a three RBI triple to make the game 10-0.

Howe also added two hits Wednesday, including her home run in the fourth inning. She had been the Devils’ hottest bat to start the season but has been out of the starting lineup the last couple of games as she found herself amid a slump. Howe talked about what’s changed over the last couple of games:

“My head. I stopped thinking. I cleared my mind,” Howe said. “Just keeping things simple — seeing the ball, hitting the ball.

A struggling junior Taylor Becerra also got an RBI in Wednesday night’s victory.

“I needed that,” Becerra said with a smile on her face. “It felt so good, it’s been pretty rough. Everyone’s been telling me ‘stop thinking so much. We know you’re good you don’t have to prove it to us.’ It’s been really nice to have that support. Just knowing they believe in me.”

In the circle, senior Dale Ryndak and sophomore Alyssa Loza combined for the team’s fourth successive shutout victory. The two mixed together to allow only one hit, while striking out five in five innings against the Hoyas.

The Sun Devils’ senior pitcher also talked about seeing her fellow senior’s big night at the plate.

“It felt so good. (Chilson and I) roomed together our freshman year,” Ryndak said. “We kind of grew up and grew together. It feels good when our senior class is on top, she’s a major contributor.”

Arizona State will host Minnesota for three games this upcoming weekend.