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ASU Softball: Freshman DeNae Chatman saves senior day with late-inning slam

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Another late-game Chatman home run gave the Sun Devils an edge.

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

On a day where Arizona State celebrated their six seniors for their final regular season home game at Farrington Stadium, it was a freshman that was the hero.

Designated player DeNae Chatman came to the plate with the Sun Devils down one in the sixth inning. Chatman found her pitch and sent it over the fence for a two-run home run to give the Devils their first lead of the day.

No. 8 Arizona State (42-9, 15-6 Pac-12) didn’t relinquish the lead and beat Stanford (23-29, 2-19) 3-2 to complete the series sweep.

For Chatman it was a bit of deja vu, as she hit a two-run homer on Friday night to give the Sun Devils a lead over the Cardinal also in the bottom of the sixth.

“It’s really big. It’s important for them to end their home series on a win,” Chatman said. “This whole series I’ve been pretty confident. I’ve been learning through every at-bat that I’ve had. I just stuck to my plan.”

Arizona State’s first run also came off a homer, this one being a solo shot from junior left fielder Skylar McCarty. The home run in the fifth drew the Sun Devils within one before Chatman gave them the lead an inning later.

The Devils found themselves down early after two innings. Senior right-handed pitcher Dale Ryndak started in the circle, before lefty sophomore Giselle “G” Juarez came on in relief in the third inning. Juarez went 4 23 innings allowing four hits, striking out one and allowing the Sun Devils to stay in the game by keeping the Cardinal scoreless.

For the final out of the game, another senior came on as Breanna Macha struck out the the last Cardinal batter and watched the Farrington crowd erupt, as the Mesa-native sealed the sweep.

“I didn’t know if I was going to go in or not. It’s exciting, it just shows her (head coach Trisha Ford) confidence that she has in me to go out there and throw,” Macha said. “I think that’s really going to stick with me.”

Ford then added.

“It was a respect thing. That kid has thrown a lot of innings. She’s worn the Maroon and Gold with such grace and pride. I thought she deserved,” She said. “It was meant to be a respect thing out of the staff’s perspective of she should finish her last guarantied home game on the mound.”

Ford then continued about the game as a whole and what needs to improve going forward.

“Today we didn’t make it easy, but we came up with some big hits when we needed to. It is what it is, and we got a w,” she said. “We went back to not focusing in the batter’s box. We did enough, but from here on out that’s not going to be enough.”

Arizona State will head to Los Angeles for its regular season series finale against the No. 1 UCLA Bruins in a top-ten showdown.