Despite early runs allowed in her second start of the series, sophomore starter Giselle ‘G’ Juarez held her composure to allow the No. 9 Sun Devils (38-9, 12-6 Pac-12) to sweep Utah (20-25, 2-16) in a 4-3 victory Sunday afternoon.
Juarez completed the game despite allowing the three runs. She allowed four hits -- two of which were home runs -- and struck out ten hitters on 96 pitches. Sunday marked Juarez’s 21st victory of the season.
One of those ten strikeouts continued to push her up the ASU leaderboards. She moved into 9th for the single-season strikeout record now at 250 on the season — passing Melannie Kyler who recorded 246 strikeouts in 1987.
E4| @ggotgame45 holds the Utes off the board in the fourth. She also picked up her 247th K of the season, moving her into 9th place in ASU history for single season strikeouts! pic.twitter.com/Uhyt0g124s— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) April 29, 2018
Despite allowing the long ball, Juarez was backed by an offense that has exploded over the course of the weekend. Freshman DeNae Chatman led the way with a three-run home run in the top of the fourth to give the Devils their first lead of the game.
Chatman has started to heat up as of late. This past weekend she went 3-7 at the plate with two extra-base hits, two runs scored and six RBI. She has also started seven of the past eight games.
Sophomore catcher Maddi Hackbarth was responsible for the fourth and final run.
With two outs and two runners on, Hackbarth stepped in against Utah ace Miranda Viramontes and sent a 1-0 pitch up the middle for a clutch RBI-single for her 25th RBI of the year.
After losing series’ to both No. 2 Oregon (40-7, 14-3) and No. 10 Arizona (35-13, 11-10) at home, the Sun Devils find themselves on a nice three game winning streak as they continue their short road trip. They have a mid-week doubleheader against New Mexico State (26-21, 11-4) before returning home to take on Stanford (22-25, 2-15) for a weekend series.
First game of the doubleheader starts at 2 p.m. on Tuesday. ASU has already defeated NMSU on March 3 in a 3-0 home victory.