The bat flew off of her right hand, everyone in Tusculsoona, Alabama knew the ball was leaving the yard. The solo shot from junior shortstop Jade Gortarez made the difference in the 4-3 win over Liscomb (41-14-1) on Friday.
Gortarez still hot from her monster performance against Oregon contributed in all ways for Arizona State (34-18). The web gems continued as well for the shortstop. She flashed the leather — well, not really — with a bare-handed pick up to throw out Lady Bison leadoff hitter Graysen Gladden.
She sparked the offense later in the contest. Aside from junior right fielder Kindra Hackbarth, ASU struggled with Liscomb starter Mandy Jordan for the first four innings. After Hackbarth doubled, Gortarez struck the first pitch in her second at-bat versus Jordan for a RBI single.
Hitting quickly became contagious for the Sun Devils after that. Freshman designated player Yannira Acuna and sophomore third baseman Kiara Kennedy went back-to-back with a pair of round trippers to hand ASU its first lead of the day.
Lipscomb answered back with a game-tying homer from designated player Jordan Fortel. ASU starter Cielo Meza exited from her third earned run. She allowed a two-run home run in the fourth to first baseman Jenna Pealor.
In the sixth inning, Gortarez’s fifth homer of the season proved to be the most valuable. Samanatha Mejia entered the circle and retired all four batters she faced.
ASU will play the winner of the eighth national seed Alabama and Alabama State at 11 a.m. on Saturday.