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ASU Softball: Samantha Mejia not returning for extra season in 2021

News in the circle

Brady Venron/House of Sparky

Arizona State senior pitcher Samantha Mejia has elected not to return for an extra year of eligibility in the 2021 season. She is the only Sun Devil senior who will not return for an extra year next spring.

The Bakersfield native was 5-1 with a 2.33 ERA and 52 strikeouts in 39 innings of work before the 2020 season was canceled. Mejia joined the Sun Devil program after playing her first two years of college softball at Fresno State.

“Sam came in mid-year last year and hit the ground running,” said head coach Trisha Ford in a statement from from Sun Devil Athletics. “She had a great career at Arizona State, and we are so thankful that she donned the maroon and gold.”

With Mejia coming to Tempe, she helped anchor a Sun Devil pitching staff that featured Mejia along with Long Beach State transfer Cielo Meza. The duo hauled a majority of the team’s innings last season along with then-freshman Abby Anderson.

Overall, Mejia hurled 314.1 career innings between two schools, with 167.1 of those frames at ASU. Her career ERA is 3.92 with 231 strikeouts.

As for what’s next after softball, Mejia is looking at a field that is of the utmost importance in the world’s current state of affairs - she plans on wrapping up her degree and moving on to nursing school at ASU.

“I’m thankful and grateful that I got the opportunity to play at one of the highest levels at one of the top schools,” Mejia said in the statement. “I played for Coach Ford. She definitely pushed me to become a player that I never thought I could be. Like I said, I’m forever grateful for that. The memories, the crazy games, and all of the friendships that I’ve made during this year, I’m just thankful for all that.”

With Mejia exiting from the staff, the Sun Devils have now lost two arms, as freshman pitcher Morgan Leinstock recently transferred to Southern Mississippi.

Nevertheless, the group still boasts a core that includes Meza, Anderson, Madison Preston, and Lindsay Lopez on their current roster, in addition to the incoming right-handed arm of Allison Royalty out of Texas, who signed with the Sun Devils in November.