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ASU Softball: Hackbarth’s two home runs fuel ASU offense in win over Kansas

Started off hot

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

With the intent to bounce back after a shoutout loss to Missouri the night before, No. 12 Arizona State (2-1) kick-started the offense to open the game. With five-straight hits to open the game, Kansas starter sophomore Kristen Pruett was pulled before she recorded an out. The Sun Devils put together five runs in the first before defeating Kansas (0-3) 14-6.

Junior catcher Maddi Hackbarth added the exclamation point to the frame with her two-run home to left to extend the lead to five. Hackbarth wasn’t done after that, she blasted another two-run homer later in the game. The catcher added two more RBIs with her base hit in the third inning. Hackbarth finished the day with three hits and six RBIs. She added an incredible diving catch in the first inning as well.

“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.

Junior right fielder Kindra Hackbarth and senior left fielder Skylar McCarty opened the game with back-to-back hits. Senior center fielder Morgan Howe continued her hot start to the season with a triple to drive them in. Sophomore DeNae Chatman brought Howe in and scored herself on Maddi Hackbarth’s first big-fly.

Jayhawks’ freshman right-handed pitcher Lexy Mills came in to stop the damage. She only band-aided ASU’s bats for so long. The Sun Devils only netted one hit against Mills, but created six walks. Four-straight walks produced a run for ASU in the second, the team finished with 10 walks.

Along with Maddi Hackbarth’s two RBIs in the third, ASU scored a total of six runs in the frame. McCarty had the lone hit against Mills, her single brought in one run. Chatman’s bases loaded walk created another. Freshmen Yannira Acuña and Makenna Harper added their first collegiate RBIs in the six-run too.

“We came out with a different type of attitude and focus today,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “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.”

Redshirt junior right-hander Cielo Meza started for ASU with the hopes of a better day in the circle. Meza’s walk numbers were better compared to her Missouri start, as she allowed one free pass via a hit batter. However, the long ball still hurt Meza. Kansas’ freshman designated player Morgyn Wynne and redshirt freshman shortstop Sydnee Ramsey hit solo shots off of Meza.

Freshman righty Mikayla Santa Cruz finished the game once again for the Sun Devils. Santa Cruz pitched two innings, she allowed four hits and two earned runs in her relief appearance.

The Sun Devils play the second game of their doubleheader against Weber State at 7:30 p.m.