Friday night was far more special for Arizona State (17-7) on offense than just scoring a plethora of runs. Junior right fielder Kindra Hackbarth hit for the cycle in the Sun Devils’ 17-1 win over New Mexico State (9-9).
Hackbarth started the ASU bats off with her sixth blast of the season. The leadoff home run tied the game back up after a first-inning run from the Aggies. The ASU offensive trained roared the rest of the way fueled by Hackbarth’s historic night.
Her three-RBI triple cleared the loaded bases in the third inning. She also doubled in the second and completed the cycle with her single in the fourth. Hackbarth scored on her single in a little league type home run after the Aggies’ freshman right fielder Kayla Bowen committed two errors on the same play. Hackbarth finished the night 4-for-4 with four RBIs and four runs scored.
“It feels good. It’s always been one of my goals to be the best that I can be,” said Hackbarth about putting herself in the ASU record book. “I do the best for my team. I’ve always wanted to retire a jersey or become an All-American, so, as long as I’m producing for my team that’s really all I can ask for.”
“Kindra is just special you guys,” head coach Trisha Ford said. “She’s a complete player. There’s different kinds of players, and she’s [one]. She just loves the game — she’s always looking for more, looking for more. How do I get better? What can I do? Works extra. There’s just difference makers in our game and she’s a difference maker.”
Hackbarth was one of four Devils with a home run on Friday night. Junior shortstop Jade Gortarez had the second bomb of the first inning. Gortarez drilled a line drive over the left field fence for her first home run of the season. The shortstop knew she had got all of it too with a bat flip of excitement.
“First one is the hardest one, that’s just what I’m going with. I was ecstatic,” Gotarez said. “Maddi [Hackbarth] had a very tough at-bat [before Gortarez] against her — I just wanted to keep it simple as possible.”
Senior center fielder Morgan Howe hit her third home run in as many games this weekend. Sophomore second baseman Bella Loomis nailed the light pole in right field to continue her power surge this season.
“Bella again tonight, she crushed that ball, all 110 pounds of her,” Ford said.
Junior catcher Maddi Hackbarth also had three RBIs. Freshman Makenna Harper notched her first collegiate hit with a pinch-hit single late in the game.
In the circle, freshman right-handed pitcher Abby Andersen started and finished in the circle for the Sun Devils. Andersen allowed the first-inning run after NMSU junior catcher Nikki Butler hit a two-out RBI-double down the the third-base line. That’d be all Andersen gave up against the Aggies, as she went five innings and five hits along with the single run.
“We’re getting there,” said Ford about Andersen’s week-to-week progression. “I thought the first inning was really good, she had good velo. The second inning we kind of talked about [how] I saw some things, but she’s able to recognize them sooner, so, that part has been much better. I’m seeing positive progression, I think we could do a little bit more. And she’d be the first one to tell you that.”
The Sun Devils continue the ASU Invitational on Saturday with a 7:00 p.m. first pitch versus Lehigh.