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ASU Softball: Sun Devils take down the Ducks for second day in a row

Series win and sole possession of fourth place

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

For the second consecutive day, Arizona State (32-18, 12-11 Pac-12) took home a victory as the Sun Devils dismantled Oregon (22-29, 5-18 Pac-12) 10-1 at Jane Sanders Stadium.

ASU was efficient, scoring 10 runs on 10 hits, and they did their damage quickly. The Devils dropped five runs on four hits in the first inning of the game.

Sophomore first baseman Denae Chatman, junior shortstop Jade Gortarez, and sophomore third baseman Kiara Kennedy all had RBI’s in the frame. Suddenly, junior starting pitcher Cielo Meza had breathing room to work with before she even stepped in the circle.

With help from her offense, the right-handed hurler delivered 4.2 innings of work while allowing just one run and one hit on a solo home run in the fifth inning. Junior Sam Mejia came on in relief for Meza, and she picked up where she left off the night prior, tossing 2.1 innings of scoreless softball.

The two pitchers allowed just two hits on the evening.

Meza also got help early courtesy of Gortarez, who has continued to impress at shortstop this weekend. A day removed from a web gem on Thursday, Gortarez followed that with another high-flying spectacle on Friday night.

With nobody on and two outs in the third inning, Gortarez snagged a bullet out of mid-air on a line drive up the middle. Just prior to that, she turned an unassisted 6-3 double play in the first inning.

As for the bats, they were held scoreless for three innings after their five-run barrage in the first. However, they couldn’t be tied up forever, and things changed courtesy of junior catcher Maddi Hackbarth. She belted her team-leading 18th big fly of the season in the fifth inning.

Hackbarth deposited a pitch down and away over the left center field wall for a two-run shot to make the score 7-0.

With her sister already in the home run column, junior right fielder Kindra Hackbarth then decided to follow suit. She obliterated a pitch that was down and in over the right field scoreboard to make things 8-1 in the sixth.

The Sun Devils would add two more in the seventh for good measure, as senior center fielder Morgan Howe had a two-run RBI double.

Combined with early offense, Gortarez defense, and Hackbarth homers, ASU cruised to a second consecutive victory and a series win in Eugene. The team also got back over .500 in conference play and they clinched fourth place in a lethal Pac-12 conference.

After dropping nine straight, ASU has won seven of its last eight games and they will look to close out the regular season strong as they go for a sweep of Oregon prior to Selection Sunday on May 12. First pitch of game three against the Ducks is at 12 p.m. MST on Saturday.