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ASU Softball: No. 16 Sun Devils squander opportunities in loss to Cal State Fullerton

Can’t find a clutch hit

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

Arizona State (12-5) had its share of chances on Sunday, it just never happened in the 4-3 loss to Cal State Fullerton (8-5).

The Sun Devils struggled all game with runners in scoring position. Rather than Alynah Torres two-out RBI in the third, Jordyn VanHook had a sacrifice-fly that doesn’t show in the 1-for-10 with RISP, but there were no hits when it mattered most.

Despite loading the bases with no outs in the second, Arizona State came away with zero runs after the Titans forced a double play and strikeout. Although, the Sun Devils put the first two batters on in the fourth and sixth inning, they managed a combined one run. Maddi Hackbarth also blasted a solo home run in the fifth.

In the circle, the Sun Devils had one bad inning. Madison Preston started the game perfect, retiring nine straight. The second time through the order the Titans broke through. A leadoff walk in the fourth started the only inning they scored in. Daisy Munoz followed the Titans’ first hit of the day with a two-RBI double and her pinch runner, Amanda Foglesong, scored on Kelsie Whitmore’s single. Whitmore later scored on a wild pitch.

Cielo Meza relieved Preston in the fourth, and outside of that wild pitch did a very good job of keeping her team in the game. In her 3.2 innings of work, she allowed just two hits without any runs and struck out eight.

The three straight losses to the Mary Nutter Classic does diminish the Sun Devils’ great start to the weekend. Arizona State returns to Tempe for the Sun Devil Classic. They’ll play five games against Southern Utah, then Maryland and Wisconsin twice.