The slugging Sun Devils returned to Farrington Stadium on Thursday night. No. 17 Arizona State (17-6) hit four home runs in its 12-0 win against Wright State (5-10).
The fan favorite blast of the night belonged to sophomore left fielder Makenna Harper. Harper, the sister of Arizona’s Jessie Harper, who is chasing the all-time career home run record, started her home run career. On a 1-2 pitch, she sent out a grand slam in the first inning to stretch out the Sun Devils’ seven-run frame for her first ever Sun Devil bomb.
“It was really cool,” Harper said. “I didn’t expect it to happen. I felt it off the bat though. I was extremely happy and it made it even better that all my teammates were on base.”
Arizona State coach Trisha Ford talked about Harper’s progression. Last year, Harper only had two hits and now is making the most of her opportunities this year.
“That kid, as soon as we put her in the lineup, ‘you’re not taking me out,’” Ford said. “She’s competitive, she has the Harper competitiveness, it’s inbred in that family. She’s walked her tail off. She’s had some ups and downs in order for her to get here. Failure is the best teacher. She’s down a great job with her opportunities . I’m really proud of her.”
Jazmine Hill started the home runs in the first with her fifth of the season. Then in the second inning, Maddi Hackbarth and DeNae Chatman went back-to-back. Kindra Hackbarth and Alynah Torres also drove in runs.
In the circle, Samantha Mejia and Lindsey Lopez split the duties in the shutout win. In her past nine innings of work, Mejia hasn’t allowed a run. According to Ford, the hot streak for Mejia has been her mentality. She’s been thinking more about the game at hand, pitch by pitch rather into the future.
“Sam has worked harder than she ever has for this season. With that I think she put a lot of pressure on herself,” Ford said. “She’s just enjoying the game, coming out here and playing the game. Instead of thinking about what she can do. She knows what she’s capable. She’s now focused on this pitch versus next week...She’s done a really good job of living in the moment.”
The Sun Devils return to action on Friday. They’ll take on New Mexico State at 7:00 p.m in Tempe.