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ASU Softball: 2020 Season Preview

What’s in store this year?

Brady Vernon/House of Sparky

2019 Season

Record: 35-20 (13-11 Pac-12)

Pac-12 Finish: 4th

All-American honorees: OF Morgan Howe, OF Kindra Hackbarth

All-Conference honorees: OF Morgan Howe (First Team), OF Kindra Hackbarth (First Team), C Maddi Hackbarth (Second Team), OF Skylar McCarty (Third Team), SS Jade Gortarez (Third Team), OF Yannira Acuña (Freshman Team)

Postseason: Lost in Tuscaloosa Regional Final

W, 4-3, vs. Lipscomb, L, 4-7, Vs. No. 8 Alabama, W, 10-1, vs. Lipscomb, L, 9-8, No. 8 Alabama

2020 Roster Outlook

Key Departures: OF Morgan Howe (Graduation), OF Skylar McCarty (Graduation), SS Jade Gortarez (Left team)

Key Freshmen: INF Alynah Torres (Projected starting SS), OF Jazmine Hill (Projected starting RF), C Macy Simmons (Top 100 recruit)

Incoming Transfers: LHP Madison Preston, Jr. (Alabama), INF Halle Harger, Jr. (Boise State), ULT Mailey McLemore, So. (Foothill College)

Preseason Rankings

NFCA Coaches: 22nd

Softball America: 24th

Flo Softball: 20th

USA Softball: 22nd

D1Softball: 23rd

News and Notes

— All-American Kindra Hackbarth will be moving from right field to center field this season to fill in the spot left by Morgan Howe

— Head coach Trisha Ford believes senior catcher Maddi Hackbarth is in the best shape of her life physically and mentally

— Freshman Alynah Torres will start at shortstop, junior Bella Loomis will stay at second base and see some action at short. This comes as it was announced Jade Gortarez was leaving the team recently.

“It’s hard for me to move Bella from second base,” Ford said. “She is fully capable of playing shortstop, but Alynah came to us as a shortstop. That’s her natural position. The transition plan was for Alynah to play shortstop. When we made a change, that was a good fit. It’s been neat to see Alynah own it, like that’s my spot, let’s get after it.”

— Transfers Halle Harger and Mailey McLemore are in place to be depth for infield spots.

— Yannira Acuña appears to have locked up the left field starting spot after earning All-Freshman from the conference last year. Right field belongs to top recruit and freshman Jazmine Hill. Sophomore Makenna Harper and freshman Jordyn VanHook are also expected to get some playing time.

— Cielo Meza and Samantha Mejia will take on most of the innings again in the circle. Although Alabama transfer Madison Preston should get plenty of action as well.

“She’s a heavy down baller with a nasty changeup that our hitters still haven’t been able to figure out,” said Ford on Preston. “Hopefully with our offense and them not being able to figure her out that’ll help us.

Projected Lineup

C — Maddi Hackbarth, Sr., Two-year starter

1B — Denae Chatman, Jr., One-and-half-year starter

2B — Bella Loomis, Jr., One-year starter

SS — Alynah Torres, Fr.

3B — Kiara Kennedy, Jr. One-year starter

LF — Yannira Acuña, So.

CF — Kindra Hackbarth, Sr. Two-year starter

RF — Jazmine Hill, Fr.

DP — Alli Tatnall, Sr.

Projected Pitching Staff

RHP Samantha Mejia, Sr. (2019 Stats: 16-10, 4.20 ERA, 128.1 IP)

RHP Cielo Meza, Sr. (2019 Stats: 7-3, 5.43 ERA, 98 IP)

LHP Madison Preston, Jr. (2019 Stats at Alabama: 0-0, 5.53 ERA, 12.2 IP)