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ASU Softball: 18th-ranked Sun Devils set off fireworks with the bats against Utah

13 runs for the Sun Devils

The Sun Devils’ offense fell flat in their conference opener last week as they produced one measly run in their loss to Oregon State.

Since, all its done is score runs. The trend continued on Friday as the Arizona State (23-8, 3-1 Pac-12) greeted Utah (13-15, 2-1) with a 13-0 onslaught.

The Sun Devils opened each of the first three frames with at least four runs. There was no single star on the night for ASU. Instead, a trio of Sun Devils guided the way to the Sun Devils’ offensive explosion.

Junior catcher Maddi Hackbarth added two more dingers to her team-lead of 13 this season. Her first, a three-run blast to left. She followed that with a line drive over the right field wall.

Hackbarth mentioned earlier in the season she was attempting to be more open minded at the plate this season.

“Our coaches do a great job of making sure that we are prepared all week,” she said. “Getting us the certain types of pitches that we’re going to be facing. We knew this we we’d be facing a a drop-ball for a strike. We just hammered that pitch all week and I think I was very prepared. I was looking for that pitch both at-bats.”

Junior shortstop Jade Gortarez initiated the scoring in the first with a 3-run double after the top of the lineup loaded the bases. Gortarez later came in to score before the end of the first.

Sophomore first baseman DeNae Chatman pickup a pair of RBIs with her two-out single to right. Chatman was also responsible for the out that drove in Gortarez earlier.

In the circle, junior righty Samantha Mejia pitched her best performance as a Sun Devil to date. In her 12th win of the season, Mejia diced the Ute lineup for five innings. She allowed a two-out double in the first, but from then on she controlled the contest. Mejia didn’t allow another hit after Utah’s shortstop Ellessa Bonstrom’s knock.

“I told Sam that’s the best game she’s thrown this year,” ASU head coach Trisha Ford said.

“Phenomenal game from Sam. One of her best games so far,” Hackbarth said. “She just came in, working really hard to get back to feeling good. Everything was working, I think that her changeup was very important. Her screwball was her main pitch tonight, getting it in there and getting them jammed.”

Mejia talked about what has put her in a position to succeed recently.

“Our hitters,” she said. “These last [few] games that we’ve won our bats have been on fire. And that only motivates me more to go out there and attack the hitters more.”

ASU has now won nine of their last 11 games. They’ll return to Farrington Stadium to try and clinch the series over Utah on Saturday at 2:30 p.m.