It took three touchdowns for No. 12 Arizona State (3-1) to completely dismantle Weber State (1-3) on Saturday night at Farrington Stadium.
ASU obliterated the Wildcats en route to a 21-1 win in five innings. The Devils had an 11-run second inning and they batted around the order multiple times.
“We came out with a different type of attitude and focus today,” said ASU head coach Trisha Ford after her team suffered an 8-0 loss the night prior. “Our bats came alive, which it was nice to see them. They have been working hard...It was nice to see them take some healthy hacks up there.”
In a 0-0 game in the second, ASU’s offense was fueled by some free passes early on. As the old saying goes, “Walks will come back to haunt you.”
The mantra proved to be true in a big way. After two free passes, freshman outfielder Yannira Acuna stepped to the plate. She was 0-for-7 in her previous collegiate at-bats.
However, at Thursday’s preseason media availability, Ford noted that Acuna has amazing bat speed, and “she can hit the ball a country mile.”
Acuna proved her coach’s statement in one swing. With two runners on, the left-handed hitter belted an opposite field three-run homer over the left center field wall.
“I was just trying to drive the ball hard,” said Acuna of her first college big fly. “I just came out here and I just wanted to drive the ball and hit the ball hard because I had been struggling.”
Scoreless no more thanks to @yanniraacuna with her first collegiate home run to put the Sun Devils up 3-0! pic.twitter.com/3evKSzcyAt— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) February 10, 2019
Acuna’s swing didn’t just stop there, though. Her three-run blast was just the start. She later deposited two doubles with runners in scoring position, ending her RBI total on the night at six.
Along with Acuna, junior catcher Maddi Hackbarth continued her red hot start to the season. Earlier in the day, Hackbarth had two home runs and six RBI’s against Kansas.
In the second inning against Weber State, Hackbarth found herself with the bases juiced. Already ahead 5-0, the junior catcher took a good pitch that was low and outside and back spinned it over the right center field wall. It was quite the day for the backstop who has been seeing beach balls at the plate lately.
“We prepared all week knowing that we were going to get drop balls...Going into the game, I was just looking for something down and a pitch to hit and put the barrel on, and thankfully I did that,” Hackbarth said.
I know you think we already tweeted this, but @maddihack unloads for her 3️⃣rd home run of the day! pic.twitter.com/AWX7tSnrny— Sun Devil Softball (@ASUSoftball) February 10, 2019
Down the line, the rest of the team cruised. Sophomore second baseman Bella Loomis had two doubles in a three-hit night and the Sun Devils showed their patience, working their way on base with 10 free passes courtesy of the Wildcats. They also were relentless on the base paths, taking advantage of an extra 60-feet whenever they could.
In the circle, junior Samantha Mejia got the start before giving way to freshman Abby Anderson, who was making her college debut. Anderson, who is a local product that played with Loomis at Hamilton High School, went on to close out the final two innings in relief. She allowed no runs and chalked up her first college strikeout on the final batter she faced.
Altogether, ASU rolled to two wins on Saturday after a defeat the night prior. The team is now 3-1 heading into one final game in the Kajikawa Classic on Sunday.